Assert™ from Inflective
In critical-to-survival enterprise-wide software implementations such as ERP or CRM transformation programs, it's imperative that stakeholders throughout a company—across silos, locations, and even countries—are all focused on relevant metrics, clear deliverables, swift but efficient issue resolution, and clearly structured quality assurance processes.
Yet managing an ERP program can be like guiding stakeholders through a maze. And while ERP programs themselves are designed to integrate disparate processes in a company, ERP programs are often managed using hundreds (even thousands) of spreadsheets, MS Project files, and other dis-integrated files—not to mention separate issue, defect, and quality assurance tracking systems. Since the files and systems don't talk to each other, corporate management can't get a reliable answer to essential questions such as, Is my program on time? Is it on budget? Where are the obstacles? Are we truly ready to go live?
Assert's founder and President, Tom Hensler, envisioned a method of steering stakeholders in a common direction that improves stakeholders' accountability for outcomes, provides a decision-making framework that is based on produced deliverables and stated metrics, focuses stakeholders on resolving issues, and integrates quality management. But this method was difficult to manage using spreadsheets and disparate systems. What was needed was a single system that could track and capture all information—a system that both empowered knowledgeable stakeholders to seek solutions based on their expertise and also held them accountable both for producing work and evaluating the quality of the solution.
How the challenges were overcome:
Though the Assert method could not sufficiently evolve while it was tethered to spreadsheets, those spreadsheets were the seed used in the initial data analysis that resulted in the construction of an Object Model. The Object Model not only reflected all of the existing data relationships, but also revealed the evolutionary paths for the Assert method.
A 3-tier web-based system was quickly developed from the initial Object Model using state-of-the-art frameworks and the Agile development methodology. That started a series of continuous iterative, short development cycles marked by alpha testing and evaluation of the product, followed by weekly or bi-weekly "Scrums" of the Assert team. These Scrums typically yielded new sets of adjustments, corrections, and new feature requirements that fed the next development iteration. The result of this process has been the on-going emergence of a unique, feature-rich, increasingly robust software system that increasingly meets Tom's ambitious vision for the Assert method.
Assert is an advanced yet elegant SaaS product, with an accompanying mobile app, that provides a single source of truth for questions about how well an ERP implementation is going. Its powerful decision support capabilities ensure that surprises are minimized, risks are controlled, a company's requirements are met, and stakeholders are held accountable.