Chicken or the Egg in ERP Implementation

I was helping set the stage for the discovery session for a potential SAP implementation and ran into the usual ‘chicken or the egg’ problem. I explained the process of requirements gathering to the participants (who were pretty senior, VP level people) and then asked my team to start the process. Sure enough, after every second question, the question or comment back to us was either ‘how does SAP do it?’ or ‘we need to see how SAP handles it before we can answer the question’, or even, ‘you should be telling us the best way to do this’.

I always wonder if it is better to show a new system and its functionality prior to the requirements gathering or not let the new system influence the thinking of the users. After all, a requirement is a requirement, whether the new system can support it or not; just because a new system can do something, it should not become a requirement- it may drive a different way of thinking how to do things, but not the requirement.

But this is a battle I am yet to win (at least completely)- and I have been doing this for over 15 years….

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