I was recently speaking with a friend about several images I had taken, and it occurred to me how similar my approach to photography has been influenced by my responsibilities at work where I manage ERP projects.

It is very rare to capture an image by luck and equally rare to manage a successful ERP implementation without proper planning.

I thought it would be fun to look at how both of my passions have intertwined.

Below are the images that I was discussing with a friend.

ERP Photography 1

ERP Photography 2

ERP Photography 3



So now you may ask, what does this all have to do with Project Management?

As I had indicated earlier, none of these images were created by luck but rather careful planning to help ensure success.

Initiating my Project What am I looking to capture? Who is my client?
Organizing your project into phases Planning, designing, shooting, and post-production
Planning Where will I have the best chance of locating a species? What locations can I access and have full control of the background for the image I want to create? What types of perches are available? What is the weather forecast? When is sunrise / sunset? What equipment do I need? (Camera bodies, lens, flash, tripod, blind, etc.)
Knowing and understanding your subject Understanding the species behavior and migration patterns. What type of environment does the bird frequent?
Choosing the proper tools and techniques for each phase of the project After the planning, you now need to execute. You must decide the design and type of image you are looking to create; what shutter speed and aperture to choose. Horizontal or vertical?
Controlling risks and external factors Do I have the proper access to the location? Do I have adequate back-ups in place? What is my plan for disaster recovery of my images?
Post Processing workflow This is the only part of my process that is set in stone as it is a repeatable process that, when followed, will eliminate errors and has been built upon years of experience.


ERP Project Management  
Review of the Statement of Work Defines project-specific activities, deliverables, and timelines for providing services to the client. Identifies the project scope.
Creation of a Project Plan project plan is a formal document designed to guide the control and execution of a project.
Organizing your project into phases Process walk-through, Set-up and Configuration, Data Migrations, User Acceptance Testing, Training, Pre-Go Live tasks, Go Live, Post Go Live
ERP Subject knowledge Does the plan make sense? Is the software being used in its most effective manner? How can we make the client more productive? How can we help the business mangers make better informed decisions? What is the best way to implement the software based on the client’s needs?
Utilizing the proper tools and techniques Task lists, checklists, proven data mapping templates, milestones for each phase of the project
Identifying and mitigating Risk and Scope creep. The best way to manage scope creep is to be diligent in managing the topics above.
Post Go Live support As with any investment, it is a prudent idea to have adequate coverage and an access to the “experts” who know your business and your team

Photography and ERP Project management isn’t always about having a rigid, pre-defined, inflexible structure for everything you do. It is ultimately about understanding all factors associated with your project, planning for those you can influence, and preparing for the potential impact of those you cannot. This is the best way to ensure we deliver final images / projects that meet client requirements, are produced on budget, and avoid unnecessary risks and errors.