Story of my work lifeWed, 25th May '05, 8:30 pm::

Here's the story of my work-life. Some guy explains it from his point-of-view, which is quite similar to mine. This is what happens to me, and pretty much everyone else in the world involved with making enterprise software.

Every project I take up, starts with a tiny minor requirement, "Chirag, we need you to make something that'll help us pay our bills on time." Sounds so simple that a middle-school kid can do it in Excel for Mac between soccer practice and karate lessons! Just put a list of all the current bills in one sheet and type in 'Paid' next to it when you pay. It's as simple as that. But who enters the list of bills? Obviously some from the Purchasing Department. However, they don't want to make a purchase order in paper and have to maintain the list of incoming bills on computer, so obviously, the solution is to computerize the Purchase Order system also. But wait, now that we have the POs in the database, we can easily use the data to help with taking the stock of our inventory because we know what's coming in.

Now all the system needs is something that lets you deduct the stock when we make a sale. Fast-forward tons of meetings with the heads of Production, QA, Regulatory, Accounting, Sales, and of course, Management, and where do you end up at? A full-fledged inventory control system with MRP features that integrate with a live e-commerce website and provides real-time stock figures. It took a while to make but everyone's happy with the system, right? Well almost. The system does everything it promised except one thing - help us with paying our bills on time! Due to some communication gap that occured in the initial stages of design, nobody realized that we do not get billed for each Purchase Order individually, and any bill can be towards a partial PO, full PO, or multiple POs. Sorry guys, if only you had told me this before... oops!

The guy in the link above explains this all quite well. I just wanted to share my experience. And it'll only get more complex 'n confusing as our company grows. Funny thing is that I love it :) Keeps my brain sharp. Of course, just like the guy above, I am not complaining about my job. I'm just saying how and why things take so long and how the simplest thing can and often does end up being so complex. Truth is, there really isn't any ERP Zen in the world. If you ever find it, lemme know! One thing I that I do often is to understand the user needs and find out a way to simplify them instead of just doing exactly what the user wants. Kinda like this guy.

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