07 January 2009

Calling All ERP Experts (both inhouse and consultants)!

Recently a colleague called me with a story involving a client.

It seems that a new client requested assistance with a problem regarding its ERP installation. My colleague, let’s say his name is Joe, charged two of his consultants with the assignment of preparing a detailed task list that would form the basis for a project plan. Their list was to be based upon the scope and statement of work provided by the client.

The consultants told Joe they had several questions to pose to the client before they could finish the plan. Joe went back to the client with the queries and received additional information regarding a hard deadline for the project’s completion. Joe cautioned the client about responding to the consultants’ questions, indicating that the aggressive deadline meant that answers to their questions had to be available within 24 hours or the deadline couldn’t be met.

Joe waited 24 hours for a response from the client, no e-mails and no phone calls. He sent an e-mail to the client contact reiterating the dwindling time available for the project and that the risk for timely completion had increased. Then 48 hours passed with no word; Joe sent another urgent e-mail. Then 72 hours passed with no word; Joe sent a more strongly worded e-mail.

Finally, the client responded, after a week had passed, with the necessary information, but there wasn’t enough time to complete the project by the hard deadline.

What would you advise Joe to do? I’ll let you know what I did next week.