Project Management 1

Project Selection

For the capstone project I am looking at three different implementations for the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects in a manufacturing environment.  Each project is similar in nature in regard to the end state but there are varying implementations for each.  The framework for the projects would still follow the project management lifecycle outlined in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (Project Management Institute).

They are as follows:

  1. ERP implementation for all plants and distribution centers with the big bang approach.
  2. ERP implementation for all plants and distribution centers through an iterative roll out approach.
  3. ERP implementation for specific functions enterprise wide through an iterative roll out approach.

The tasks for the projects include those activities on the critical path such as developing the requirements for implementation, vendor selection, implementation, training, sustainment and sun setting the previous legacy systems.  The timing and duration for these activities will vary for each project implementation type but would span the timeframe of 18 to 36 months for a full implementation.  This is based on developing the initial requirements to going live with the new ERP system.

The probabilities for implementation range for each scenario.  The big bang approach would have a high risk and I would be pessimistic.  The implementation by functional area could pose potential issues due to integrations between new systems and old systems and would potentially not be success.  The implementation iteratively by plant would make sense as each area would pose their own opportunities for learning but the implementation would become standardized as the project progresses through the roll outs.

Implementing the ERP project through an iterative implementation phase approach would allow the least amount of risk to operations as a whole and would allow the framework to be built in the area that has the least amount of risk before taking on the high risk manufacturing plants that may be more complex or a higher amount financial impact to the company.

Works Cited

Project Management Institute. A guide to the project management body of knowledge. 4th. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute, 2008. Print.