When you visit a doctor, he asks for symptoms of your problem. He then writes a prescription to solve your problem.
Note that he does not ask about your needs or requirements.
Enterprise Solution (ERP/CRM) consultants should be no different. First, they should assess the symptoms and root cause of the problems. Then, with the help of a given ERP/CRM product, propose a solution to address the given problems.
But, often, they ask the Business stakeholders – “What are your requirements?”
- What are the requirements of the Sales Order entry process?
- What are the requirements for the Accounts Payable invoice approval?
- What are the requirements of the input fields?
- Which buttons do you like us to be available on the screen/form/program?
Then, they go on a pursuit of customising the packaged solution to meet the requirements. The standard response on querying about heavy customisations is: “These are customer requirements!”
Due to this lousy approach, the project cost skyrockets—the delivery time and stress increase manifold. It is the #1 budget killer!
As a sponsor, consider whether consultants are ‘analysing problems’ or ‘asking for requirements’. If you spot the latter, then stop it immediately at every cost!