At IQMS, we use our EnterpriseIQ Manufacturing ERP software to run our business in everything from Payroll to Inventory Management to CRM. Since EnterpriseIQ was designed and created to serve manufacturers, obviously, there are modules that won't be a perfect match for us, but we try to use as much of the software to run our day-to-day operations in every way we can. And let me assure you, we are our own worst critic.
Just like our customers, our employees expect the software to work well every time. However, our employees are most often on a pre-PRE-release (and sometimes pre-tested) version of the software. When it comes to software updates and new modules, this means that we often "take one for the team" by installing them locally while they are still in their infancy. The team in this case being our entire customer base. And as much as we, as managers & staff, want to help in the betterment of our products, there is still that brief second after our CEO says, "Let's implement it here" that we are filled with the feeling of impending doom. That feeling is short-lived though and we then throw ourselves into planning for the new project. In the end, we are always glad we were able to participate and make for a feature-filled, user-friendly application.
Remember my "own worst critic" comment from above. With customers, they are typically concerned with their own needs and they understand a certain amount of turnaround time is required to deliver software changes. Internal staff, however, aren't just concerned with their own use of the software, but every customer they've worked with too. Our technical support staff will report issues to testing that don't really affect them, but they know these will come up later with the customers they work with daily. And something about being in the same building with the development and testing staff seems to give our internal users the idea that solutions should be delivered faster. No, make that immediately.
Since my humble beginnings with IQMS (that's a whole different story) almost 17 years ago, I have had the opportunity to participate in several of these implementations. Over the next several weeks, I (and possibly my fellow bloggers as well) would like to share some of the these stories with you. Some could be classified as action/adventures, and others as comedies. So, whatever your taste, I hope you enjoy them. Thankfully, there have been no tragedies. There almost was once... then we learned the most important question that must be asked before agreeing to install one of these pre-tested versions. It is a question that is still asked today... "Does Payroll work?"