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Feb 12, 2017

Mr.ERP Consultant, are you Tiger Woods or PV Sindhu?

As all of us know, Tiger Woods plays golf

Some of you may not know Sindhu. She is the Indian badminton player who won the silver medal in the women's singles in the just concluded Rio Olympics.

With regard to the criteria for winning, these two games are philosophically different. In golf, you win by holding the ball in your  possession for as long as possible. In badminton, on the other hand, your success depends on how quickly you can transfer the shuttle to the opponent's court.

In golf, you keep the ball, you win. In badminton, you release the shuttle, you win.

Based on their approach to resolving issues, I categorize ERP consultants into two groups, Golfer and Badminton Player aka Woods and Sindhu

Woods keep the issues with himself. Most of the time, these issues are beyond his control, but he does not do a clean transfer of the issue to the relevant team that can get the issue resolved..

A typical conversation between me and Woods will go as follows.

Me: That issue, which had been open for the last three months, has it been resolved and closed?

Woods: No Ram, it is still pending. 

Me: Why this delay? What is the problem?

Woods: I do not have the required resources. In addition, I need infrastructure to test the solution.

Me: Have you asked the resourcing team for resources?

Woods: There is no use informing the resourcing team. They can't (won't) do anything. They do not help projects. 

Me: How are you planning for resources?

Woods:I am trying to talk to different project managers to get the resources.

Me: Why don't you escalate the issue? 

Woods: Ram, shall I tell you something? This is a bureaucracy, this Organization. Here you do not get any help, only mails get exchanged. You only have to manage to resolve your issues. Same is the problem with Infrastructure. The infra team cannot or do not help.

Me: Have you informed Infra team?

Woods: I sent a couple of mails. No response. Now I am trying to get the infra.

Me: Why have you not informed me yet?

Woods (looking peeved): Ram, this is not fair. I have been marking you in all the mails.

While Woods is the owner of the issue, he is holding on to challenges over which he has no control. 

He neither transfers, informs, escalates nor seek help.

Upshot? The issue (the golf ball) is stuck with him.

Sindhu thrives on transfer. She will only work on the items over which she has control. She will transfer all the obstacles to relevant teams and then follow up. She will use all means of communication, both formal and informal. She will not only transfer obstacles, but will receive formal acknowledgement that the other team has received the issue and are looking into. She will seek clarification from customer, escalate internally,  seek help and do everything till the obstacles are removed and the issue comes back under her control where she can take action. Her communication is action oriented, issue specific, explains the urgency of the information and sets the right context.
Sindhu, almost never, has anything pending with her that she is not working on.

Now you tell me....

Who can close issues faster? Woods or Sindhu?
Who gets better customer satisfaction ratings? Woods or Sindhu?
Who keeps complaining? Woods or Sindhu
Who is a problem solver? Woods or Sindhu?

What kind of consultant are you? Woods or Sindhu?
You tell me.....


Nguyen Truong said...

Thank ad share good post.
With my I will become Mr Tiger woods :D

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Sikder Sohag said...

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