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Proof of Concept is like 'Delivery Challan' (delivery note) in ERP.

ERP implementation tips by ERP Consultant Zaveri.

  • In small and medium size organization, implementing ERP is very challenging for both implementers and the ERP coordinator.

  • When a supplier delivers goods (say, a computer) the receiver will first check and test.  The receiver will check, e.g. if the item received is as per the specification (given in P. O.), and is working fine, etc.  The supplier will then request the customer to sign a Delivery Challan.  In the challan it is written that “Received in good and working condition”.  The supplier will now be in position to raise the final bill since he has received the challan duly signed.

  • How in ERP, one can sign a Delivery Challan - “Received in good and working condition”?  How does one certify that you have received the goods, in ERP?

  • In ERP, we have a ‘proof of concept’ file or POC.  The POC contains printouts of all the inputs and outputs of each modules / procedures covered in the scope of ERP.  Each page needs to be signed and certified by (i) ERP coordinator and (ii) by concerned user. 

  • Our DNS team will keep one such file with the ERP coordinator.  Once the page is certified and signed, that means that procedure is now “Received in good and working condition”.

  • Now, suppose customer changes his mind and asks for different item (in earlier example of PC, say he wants different kind of monitor or simply wants to change the color of the cabinet, etc.), the supplier may do the changes (replacement) to please the customer.

  • However, in ERP such changes means additional customization, this will not add more time, but money as well in the ERP project.  The user cannot simply change his mind after the POC is signed off.

  • In the first place the user is not in position to spell out clearly (in writing) what he wants, then after the POC is made, he is simply afraid of signing because if he does, that means he is now bound, which if choice is given, would not like to do.  Therefore, in other words the so called ‘challan’ remains unsigned.  In fact, even after user has received the required module will use it merrily but will hesitate to sign.  That means the software company is left to his mercy for getting money.

  • One cannot simply ignore the POC file.  Some customers are matured enough to understand this and are ready to sign the POC (i.e. delivery challan), and give the money to software company, whereas others will simply play ignorant about the importance of POC.  Some ERP software companies are charging ‘per day’ basis towards the ERP resources that are working at the ERP implementation site.  This will automatically put a brake and ensure that the ERP is taken up seriously.  Otherwise, ERP implementers and developers are taken for granted.

  • The problem that the ERP implementation team faces are:

1.                  No clear logic sheet is given by user in writing.  Because he does not know what he wants, how one can supply and satisfy him?

2.                  After carrying out customization user is hesitating to test and sign.  He would nicely say ‘he is too busy’ !  Unless the Director level person intervenes, this will go on.  [e.g. Mr. Ratan Tata himself was sparing his time to ensure that priority is given by everybody]. 

3.                  After the POC is signed off, new changes will keep on coming in bits and pieces.  The programmer will now chop-and-change the program and the system will not be able to stabilize.

  •  Please note that we have given a rubber stamp to our team to put it on the hardcopy where the ‘Date and Name’ of the person is to be put.  Two from DNS team and two from your organization.  Sign does not mean the way you sing on checkbook; simply you write your name is good enough. 

  •  Frequently Asked Questions – (FAQ):

 1.                  Q.   What if I have signed the POC hardcopy, of say PO, and later after two months I realize that some change is necessary?

                A.      Please write down the change and email or write on the printout and put your name and date, give to our DNS team.  Rest-assure, we will do any essential customization. 

2.                  Q.  I cannot give any specification in writing because there is no such procedure in legacy (business process is new).  We will verbally explain. 

                A.      You will have to take time out and prepare an example (may be in Excel) and explain in writing, based on which we will to changes in DNS Exe.  Verbal communication should be avoided. 

3.                  Q.  Are POC and CRP related?

                A.      Yes.  CRP is Conference Room Pilot.  CRP run is simulation of all kinds of scenarios.  Before going live, it is necessary to enter at least one-month data including all kinds of transactions and take printouts.  Signing of this printout will ensure that there are no surprises when the system goes live.  Therefore, it is necessary to make POC file during the CRP run.  See separate not on CRP run given in the DNS Reference Manual.

4.                  Q.  What if the ERP coordinator does not find time to carry out CRP run (e.g. he is busy with ISO project also) and users are not cooperating?  What if, users are already overloaded and do not wish to enter data twice.

                A.      ERP project will not be a smooth experience.  The owner (Director level person) will have to intervene and direct all concerned to find time (give highest priority).  Otherwise, the ERP project is likely to be delayed and that means cost of implementation also will be high.

  •  Hope you will understand importance of the POC box file kept with you, and help implementer team in customization and testing.


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