How a Traditional Burns Supper follows SAP Project Methodology
No, it’s not the start of a bad joke….. well, maybe it is….
Please give me a bit of poetic license as I try to explain this one.
Tradition and Best Practice
Holding a strong tradition, the sequence of events at a Burns’ Supper are always the same. Call it best practice if you will.
If any of you have attended a formal Burns’ Supper you will know that it is bloody brilliant. It works so well. And so it should because we have been practicing it since 1801.
SAP’s Project Methodology follows a best practice of Design, Build, Test and Go Live. Whilst not quite as old as a traditional Burns’ Supper, SAP Project Methodology is certainly as well established.
Standard Format of a Burns’ Supper
For those who don’t know, let me begin by explaining the standard format of a Burns’ Supper
1) Piping the guests – the bagpipes are playing as people arrive to welcome them. General mingling and getting to know each other is expected
2) Host’s welcome speech – generally reminding everyone of the purpose of the Burns’ Supper and the general joviality to follow
3) Piping of the haggis – the pipes play as the cooked haggis is brought to the table
4) Address to a haggis – the famous Burns’ poem is read to guests
5) Supper – everyone eats
6) Immortal memory – speech by host remembering Burns
7) Address to the lassies – a male guest makes a speech about his general thoughts on the ladies in the room. Usually tongue in cheek it is delivered knowing that the lassies are to reply next
8) Reply to the laddies – a female guest offers a reply on behalf of the women in the room – usually addressing the points raised by the laddies. Often the male and female guests will collaborate in advance so that the address and reply work well together
9) Works by Burns are read
Standard Format of SAP Project Methodology
So here is where I use my poetic license – bear with me…
Points 1-4 above are like the design part of the project. This is where all the interaction between client and software partner take place – the mingling if you like. The software partner will get to know the client through questioning meetings designed to help draw out the right information to understand what system needs to be put in place. The “address to a haggis” could very well be replaced by the software partners “address to the client” at the end of the design process where the blueprints of the solution are agreed upon and the client is reminded of why the instigated the project in the first place and what benefits they can expect upon project completion.
This relates to point 5 alone – the supper. Just as the point of the Burns’ Supper is to eat the haggis, the point of the whole software implementation process is to build a working system.
Points 6-9 above can relate to the testing process. (I usually find the address to the lassies particularly testing but the less said about that the better).
During the formal supper this is the part where everyone truly remembers why they are there in the first place; to pay homage to Burns and to enjoy the fruits of his labour. In relation to SAP project methodology the testing phase is design to exam the fruits of the software consultants labour. It’s an opportunity to ensure everyone is on the same page (pardon the pun) to ensure the client gets a workable solution which matches the requirements identified during the design phase.
- Go Live
The knees up part of the process, this is where the software partner will “press the button” and allow the clients to run riot all over their new software system. Although it can be difficult for the client to learn a new system, it’s not as difficult as attempting to Strip the Willow after you’ve had a few whiskies.