As a Business Process Consultant (one of my hats), here's how I would approach it.

1. You are already moving in the correct direction by pointing up
productivity loss, but you have to frame the argument correctly:
1. "We have implied and explicit deadlines in serving our
customers. We will fail to meet them due to lost
productivity unless we act now." Acting now will require
either major changes to the new system to add critical
functions, or a significant increase in staffing (with all
the related costs). The first option will take a great deal
of time and will be expensive. The second choice will take
less time but will permanently decrease profitability by
increasing staffing levels for an indefinite period of time.
Doing nothing will cost us customers and that decreases revenue.
2. "The changes are producing a morale problem." This will
resolve itself over time, but combined with the current drop
in productivity due to feature loss, it can become a major
2. Understand that management may have reasons other than the pretty GUI:
1. The reporting at *their* level may be perceived as better
(it might even be better) in the new system.
2. GUI is much easier for *occasional* users. Managers tend to
be occasional users.
3. The business model may bee changing and management hasn't
chosen to share the details at your level. The new system
may be part of a larger plan.
4. Someone might have bought for non practical reasons: (my
son sells this, my competitor has this, my accountant said
it was good, etc.) Saying it is bad may become emotional for the person who recommended or authorized the new system.
3. Build details:
1. Get the people (lower mgmt) who are getting hurt to give you
stats (we had xxx Orders completed per hour before, now we
have yyy).
2. Depending on your audience, you might be better off showing
Pie Charts - especially if management thinks GUI is pretty.
4. Be on their side:
1. "This sucks, why did you do it" is a bad tactic.
2. "We are seeing a drop in accuracy and the customers are
noticing" is much more inclusive.
3. Tone, attitude, and word choices will have a huge effect on
your success.
4. Choose your cc:s carefully. Bob the CFO might have taken
your side if you'd let him bring the case to the Bill the
CEO, but you cc:ed the CEO. Mary the A/P manager might have
ignored you, but you cc:ed Alice the A/R manager, so she has
to reply and appear clever in her reply. Don't play
politics, but don't dare ignore it.

If you need more, I'll have to charge you by the hour. :)

         Charles Barouch

Mark Johnson wrote:

Does anyone have a short paper on the care and feeding of both the company and its employees during a conversion/migration from one system to another.

I'm facilitating a migration from MV/Results/Primac to Great Plains and it is a very large mismatch. GP seems to be shopping-cart oriented and Results/Primac are more of a traditional Order Entry system.

I can't seem to convey that difference as management (read: those who don't use the computer) like the GUI and all of the nice links and screens. The worker bees are in a turmoil with the increased amount of carpal-tunnel potential mouse/keyboard back and forth as well as the absense of many functions that were present under the MV app. Their productivity has fallen 75% as it takes 4x longer to enter an order.

There are no sales tax lookups, no product or customer lookups. You clearly cannot scroll through 35,000 line items. There's no easy alternate shipping addresses and the original reports leave a lot to be desired. The accounting package is appealing but a company doesn't exist just for the accounting dept. Not to mention all the hamburger-helper features i've installed over the last 6.5 years.

I also have to fabricate custom reports with Crystal Reports and/or Access as there are many fields of data that should be there like customer back orders, sample customers, customer categories and a whole truckload of sales reporting fields that simply don't exist. Am I wrong in concluding that Great Plains is just a glorified shopping cart application.

Has anyone else experienced this kind of mis-match, especially with great plains. At least i could inform the users that others have these growing pains. There doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel for them.

thanks in advance.

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