Admin gets sexy: ERP without Agile is worthless

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and its allied functions across the administrative backbone are of course the most maverick, exciting and progressive elements of any modern organisation.

ERP-related job functions such as IT asset and service management along with supply chain logistics are usually right up there with International Fire-Fighter and Stuntman on most young males “ideal career list” as they pass through adolescence.

I jest of course…

But there’s a point to be made here: IT asset management is becoming increasingly recognised as a niche (or at least “distinguishable”) technology skill and really progressive companies in this space are (arguably) using front-line software application development practices to ensure that their products are as precision-engineered as an F1 carburetor at 16,000 revs.

Swedish ERP specialist IFS says it has launched the new generation of its extended ERP suite, IFS Applications, entirely based on Agile development methodologies.

By using Agile methodology, customer feedback is incorporated into the system throughout the development process says the company.

“By relying entirely on an agile development methodology, IFS has reduced work in progress by 60 percent, increased its deliveries by a factor of 10 and achieved a 30 percent enhancement in quality. IFS’s Agile development methodology is 80 percent based on SCRUM methodology and the iterations typically run for two to four weeks. Toward the end of each iteration, the solution is presented to an IFS customer or customer representative, who evaluates the functionality and provides feedback on possible improvements. By focusing on the expressed need of the customer, the right solution is developed in the right way, at the right time, thereby ensuring on-time delivery, low costs and high quality,” said the company, in a press statement.

All good then? Well — IFS and ERP plus ITAM and ITSM are all very well, but perhaps this story needs its own mini glossary:

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)

EAM (Enterprise Asset Management)

ITAM (IT Asset Management)

ITSM (IT Service Management)

SCM (Supply Chain Management)

… and even, MRO (Maintenance Repair and Overhaul).