Today we had finally! completed our long term vision – to have an integrated inventory/manufacturing system that would be automatically linked to our order processing system. Technically speaking, what the goal was for the inventory system to automatically adjust the inventory level counts based on what was sold. Sounds VERY easy, but in fact, because we manufacture JIT, we face challenges such as converting raw goods into finished products, etc. Nevertheless, it turns out that this type of process that we follow is one of the more complicated ones you can. Needless to say, process aside, this project was identified about 3 years ago! Yes, unreal – 3 years ago. It just NOW got fully finished. We made progress, step by step towards it, but nevertheless.
So, today I was discuss with the guys where we went off track. And sure enough, there was some tactical mistakes – some unavoidable. We choose software that has a DB that is non-compatible with what is now our standard. Another words, when we choose the software while growing, we didn’t have a db standard, so it didn’t matter. BUT, as it we got standards, this software didn’t 100% fit in. Another issue was lack of a fully developed SDK – again – at the time of purchase of the software, we didn’t have a clear idea of all the things we would be asking of the software – so SDK was important – but not critical. We also didn’t have a full picture of all the processes we wanted – but that is because we didn’t have them at that time.
So, nevertheless, problems are common in a project – so what really went wrong? Looking at the root cause, it was very simple. People. There was not one person responsible for getting the job done. I was the project sponsor, and as a sponsor, I should have 100% delegated the Project Management responsibility to someone capable of executing. So, lesson learned. I was the project sponsor. The project struggled. I did not respond strongly enough. Project crawled!
So, for future, lesson learned, take strong, definitive action when a project is struggling – including hiring new people to move the project forward. Projects do not execute themselves.