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Microsoft has published another of my articles, this one on Enterprise Systems Best Practices. This article looks at some of the key success/failure criteria to any enterprise system including, of course, EPM Systems. Those factors include: finding a business owner, knowing what problem the system is supposed to solve, making sure it’s part of your enterprise technical architecture and implementing change management.

Many organizations deploy enterprise systems and many of these deployments generate tremendous efficiencies in the organization. However, some organizations get tempted to deploy more than one enterprise system at the same time and this can lead to a tremendous challenge or even failure of both systems. In some cases, the two systems are pushed into one massive project, in other cases, separate teams pull the company into different directions at the same time. This article looks at the particular challenge of doing more than one enterprise system deployment at a time.

Microsoft maintains a column that I write on TechNet called “From the Trenches. My latest column there is entitled “Creating an EPM Deployment Plan” and discusses the elements of an EPM Deployment that are not just technical. From getting management on board with the original decision making requirements to ensuring that the solution solves the problem it was purchased for, this article opens the door to the many things that need to be considered in deploying an EPM solution.

What is it about EPM System deployments that makes them seem like the appetizer instead of the meal? Are the frequently challenging EPM system projects just the result of a project management ‘eyes too big for the stomach’ syndrome?

HMS has released version 6.1 of its well known TimeControl timesheet system. This new version extends the TimeControl architecture with all-new support for MySQL along with updated support for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle and Sybase, new functionality including Personal Pre-loads and a whoe rewrite of numerous administraiton functions such as Table access into TimeControl 6’s multi-browser architecture.

EPM Guidance now has a calendar page with upcoming events of interest to project managers. The calendar will also list where Chris Vandersluis, the author of EPM Guidance will be presenting and events where HMS Software will be participating.

Most articles here talk about the strategic intent of enterprise timesheet and enterprise project management systems. But, not doing your homework on the operational side of the house can cause lots of mischief after a system has been implemented. Here are some of the best practices on enterprise systems we’ve encountered over the last few years.