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“The Great ERP Heist: Capture Value Quickly with Agile Product Teams” by Paul Schenck

by Debbie Wilson  |  March 15, 2019  |  1 Comment

Some of my favorite movies are heist films: Inception, Heat, Ocean’s Eleven, and Mission Impossible, to name a few. These are actually similar to ERP in many ways. They usually start with an introductory challenge that pushes the ringleader to concoct a plan, *the heist*, to overcome the challenge. For application leaders, their challenge is meeting rapidly changing business needs to stay competitive in the digital age. Business users require new functionality faster and vendors are updating systems quicker than ever. ERP updates have gone from every few years to every few months. To answer this challenge, application leaders must embrace the concept of agile ERP support through product teams. This concept is explored in “First Steps in Applying Agile and DevOps to ERP Support”.

The next part of heist movies is building *the crew*. The ringleader identifies the right roles, people and skills needed to overcome the challenge. Common characters are the brains, the muscle, the smooth talker, the nerdy tech. Each of their skills are displayed in a fast-cut montage and then the crew assembles, walking in slow motion side-by-side. In ERP, application leaders need to build their own crew to support Agile. This is done by establishing product teams composed of product owners, product managers, agile coaches and agile developers. The creation of this ERP crew is covered the note “How to Build Agile ERP Support with Product Teams“.

Finally, the movie reaches its apex when the crew pulls off the heist. There is a series of elaborate stunts and tricks to deceive and overcome the adversary. Undoubtedly, a twist or turn will occur late in the game, but the crew will prevail and the challenge will be met with *the big score*. For the agile ERP product team, they must put the agile and product methodology into action. This involves identifying needs and placing functionality into sprints, configuring the solution, testing it, deploying and then iterating. This process will be further explained in a yet later note on How to Execute Agile ERP Releases.

If application leaders identify the challenge, embrace the agile ERP approach, build their product team crew, and execute; then they will pull off their own version of the great ERP heist to capture value quickly with agile product teams.

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Category: applications  erp  

Deborah R Wilson
Managing Vice President, ERP Strategy Team
12 years at Gartner
20 years IT industry

Deborah Wilson, a recovering Gartner research analyst, leads the Gartner ERP strategy research team. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on “The Great ERP Heist: Capture Value Quickly with Agile Product Teams” by Paul Schenck

  1. Hi Paul,

    Fun analogy! My personal favourite is ‘The Italian Job’. Something about the mini coopers just gets me…

    Would you say that your “crew” needs to be built in accordance with the business functions that will be supported by ERP? For example, identify a product owner for each major function (procurement, sales, production, etc.). If not, how would you structure the “crew”?


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