Chapter 6. Managing an Enterprise Resource Planning Project

Computers and the software that run them have a limited life span. And when business requirements are changing rapidly, driving aggressive development and change in the supporting technology, pressure grows to enable business processes and support clients with the advantages of new technology.

That was what we at O.C. Tanner faced. We had in place aging mainframe computers and the associated software that went with them. By the late 1990s, it had become clear that this technology was inhibiting our success and it was time to move to client-server-based hardware and state-of-the-art software.


To understand how the use of the One-Page Project Manager (OPPM) evolved over the life of this project, you need some background. We called the project Cornerstone, since IT supported business processes are a cornerstone of our business, and this project involved deciding what to buy to replace our legacy systems and then installing it. For a year prior to launching the project, we evaluated various hardware platforms and software packages. We hired top-notch (and pricey) consultants to help us.

At the end, we decided to move to a three-tier client-server environment, replacing our DOS-based environment with a graphical user interface. As IT people know, the three tiers are the client tier, the application tier, and the database tier. Specifically, we chose: a hardware platform from Hewlett-Packard (HP) which included servers, ...

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