I had an experience of implementing ERP for a company in Bogota, Colombia. There the language of communication is Spanish.
As a project manager I used some innovative technique to handle the communication with the customer. One of them was to use 'Say it with Drawings'. Whenever we were discussing any process, I encouraged our team to draw the flow on the whiteboard and allowed the customer to come and make modifications to it where they felt that our flow was not complete or inaccurate. At the end of this process we had a complete flow diagram which was almost signed off by the customer.
Another technique that I used was to do 'In System Demos'. Whenever we were discussing a process, I insisted that my team demo the complete flow on the system. This helped in two ways. One was to refine the requirements and identify the process gaps. In addition, this also help in accelerating the user training in the application.
I also observed that whenever the users were satisfied with our understanding of the topic, they used to emit a collective 'Aaaaah...'. This sound coming from the user team was a signal to us that we are all in the same page. I made this as a matrix for measuring the performance of my team. In any discussions, my team had to elicit as many 'Aaaaah's as possible and I reviewed this at the end of the day.
How have you handled this challenge? What are the innovative approaches that you have followed while implementing ERP in a country where they speak a different language?
I had initiated this discussion in LinkedIn and this is an ongoing discussion. This brings out some more facets of this challenge.
You can take part in the discussion here.
I would like to hear from you on.
1. Have you implemented ERP for a customer that does not speak your language?
2. What are the innovative approaches that you have used?
3.What are the challenges that you faced while implementation?