ERP Project Manager Diary: Dreaming of ERP

Last night I dreamed about the ERP project. I think that must be a good sign. That probably means that I am processing thoughts even as I sleep. They say that is good for creativity.

I had to have a conversation with Marla today about why she blindsided me with her response to the executive committee yesterday regarding the base unit of measure. Her response was that I never asked her what other companies do; I only asked her what we should do. Her company’s policy forbids her from making or recommending a specific course of action relating to business policy, but it encourages her to share the policy decisions she sees other companies make. I told her that was more or less understandable, but she still made me look like an idiot, and she told me that I was overly sensitive. I’m not entirely comfortable with her or the situation. Either she is really stupid, or she is a backstabbing manipulator. Neither is particularly winning as a business partner. All I can do is ask her the same question in multiple contexts until I figure out which one it is.

Running Out of Money

Also, I had to quell a minor rebellion this afternoon. You may remember, Diary, that I told you earlier in the week about being proud of the cross-functional teamwork we showed to arrive at the decision to not release production orders until a customer order had cleared credit? Well, it turns out that no one from sales, manufacturing, or planning was in the meeting; the credit department took it upon themselves to make that decision, and quietly log it in the decision log. Needless to say, I listened to some very passionate conversation from each of the other team leaders about the decision, and am going to have to reconvene meeting. Apparently, we have in place an unqualified service promise, irrespective of whether the customer has sufficient credit at the time of the order, so this is going to be a bigger issue than I thought.

We had our first meeting about labels today. I had no idea that ERP was going to force us to redo all of our labels. And of course, the label printers we have aren’t compatible with the ERP software, so we need to get new printers in every plant. That comes as a bit of a surprise, and the plants are going to expect us to pay for the printers, since the cost is solely to accommodate ERP. I wonder if they will fire me when they learn I am going to run out of money, or whether they will wait until I actually do run out of money.

Otherwise, things are going pretty well. We are approaching the halfway point in blueprint, and Marla says we are right on schedule, so I’m feeling good about that.

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