Oracle E-Business Suite R12 is a mission-critical application that could turn your Oracle investment into revenue during a very short period of time. But, with any complex application, considerable time and attention should be devoted to maintaining, improving, and optimizing core business applications to ensure your organization is realizing value.
Even with routine system maintenance, planning, and hard work, a complex EBS project can fail for a variety of reasons. Recognizing common Oracle project management failures and respective solutions can be the difference between project success and failure. In this blog post, I’ll help you identify and examine the five most common reasons why Oracle E-Business Suite upgrades fall short, so you’ll know what to avoid before you begin your an upgrade.
1. Poor Documentation
Many skilled internal teams start their project planning and implementation process with good documentation practices but don’t understand the full scope and the end goals to complete the documentation in the final stages.
2. Unrealistic Budgets or Timeline
Just because your organization requires a major Oracle EBS improvement project, even if that project has already been funded, doesn’t mean that all required budgets have been adequately identified and secured. Too often, budgets are unrealistic and don’t consider the full scope of work required. Before starting any significant project, ensure all resources (dollars, people, etc.) are identified and available during the expected project duration.
3. Lack of Training
Many times the problems encountered are often due to inadequate training in a particular EBS feature or function. For example, many users who started using project accounting in 11i won’t be familiar with the new features and reports, and don’t feel that they are able to track their projects accurately without a project segment in their chart of accounts. A week of training will not only help users with new features but will improve overall business efficiencies. This training could include multi-media presentations, live demos, and hands-on practice to get users familiar and comfortable with the day-to-day and periodic tasks they will be required to execute moving forward.
4. The Right Resources Aren’t Assigned or Available
It’s difficult to participate in a project and also do your regular job. It sometimes seems that a few people in the organization are asked to do everything. Be realistic when assigning people to different project responsibilities and allocating their time, and recognize when external skills would be more efficient even though the cost might be higher. For example, hiring resources for the upgrade to R12 may seem more expensive than having your DBA try to do it internally, but consultants who perform upgrades day-after-day develop a variety of “lessons-learned” and ways to streamline the process. Additionally, it does not make sense to have your internal DBA spend months on learning to do something that he or she will never need to do again. The time could be better spent on other projects.
5. Trying to Implement Overly Complex Solutions
It is tempting in many Oracle EBS implementations or upgrades to over-engineer solutions, especially when unique business needs and requirements are involved. However, the more custom you make your implementation, the more you get away from the core functionality of E-Business Suite, and the more difficult future implementations will be.
Embarking on an upgrade may feel like a daunting task. However, proper education and planning can greatly determine the success of your upgrade. Before beginning your next upgrade remember the 7 common mistakes discussed in this article and remember to step back to look at big picture and the ultimate accomplishment your successful upgrade will represent.