We helped a client yesterday to practice its cutover from four old ERP systems to one centralised updated system. It again reminded us of some excellent lessons learned in this area. These are:
1. Shining a Light
The plan can look relatively simple on paper, but when moving from the organisation - shiny and on parade - to when it's covered in dirt and in disarray during execution, complexity can exponentially arise. Having a system that spits out the drum beat, by giving you texts and emails to tell you that your colleague's task before yours has just started and you are in the hot seat next, keeps a semblance of order in the chaos.
2. Anecdotes are not Data, Data is Data
Having a complex Gantt chart that is designed to be updated weekly gets frustrating when you have 30-minute activities to track. Having up-to-the-second data on task performance - what is late, what should have started, what should have finished in the next 5 minutes - allows the team to see the shadow of what the plan said we should be doing right now, how far away we are and what is coming next. Execution data rules.
3. Calm is Contagious
Rather than multiple spreadsheets with people colouring in paper copies in a disparate way, having a central core set of data that tells you what you planned to do and what is coming up is enormously calming in a time when getting anxious and making costly mistakes is all too easy.
We can't mention this client name due to the NDAs in place but we wanted to say thanks for the opportunity to work together.
Calm is contagious.