Saturday, September 22, 2018

A framework for the successful implementation of enhancements

Almost a year ago, I suggested a framework for the successful implementation of enhancements in ERP systems. This was discarded from the research proposal which I submitted at the end of 2017, but has now made its triumphant return into my intermediate submission, which is basically my doctoral thesis without the actual 'in the field' research.

I was discussing the framework with the OP a few weeks ago when the thorny subject of validation arose. Had I continued working on my original thesis topic, validation would have been subsumed into showing that there was support (or lack of) for my hypotheses. But the current thesis topic is not hypothesis based, instead suggesting a framework. In this context, validity of the framework means that developing enhancements by means of the framework will lead to successful implementations, whereas enhancements not developed by means of the framework are liable to fail.

I've been looking for supporting literature but not finding anything - although I'm sure that there must be. One good paper is called "The conundrum of verification and validation of social science-based models"; after having read this, I was able to write "Whereas 'validation' in systems engineering means that a system has been accurately built according to its specifications, in the social sciences it generally means that measurements are measuring what they are supposed to be measuring (Hahn, 2013). In the exact sciences, validation means that a theory accurately predicts values which have yet to be determined experimentally".

After spending several hours looking for papers yesterday, I found it difficult to sleep, leading me to awake in the middle of the night and sit naked in the lounge, typing notes into the computer. I am considering using the following sentence as the thesis epigram: Inquissima haec bellorum condicio est: prospera omnes sibi indicant, aduersa uni imputantur, which, when translated into English approximates to "This is an unfair thing about war: victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone". This is the antecedent to the more well-known phrase, "Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan". In the light of day, this seems less appropriate.

The subject of failure was very much on my mind yesterday; by placing more weight on investigating planned enhancements which failed, it becomes clearer what needs to be done in order to succeed. I wrote a new section in my thesis called 'Validating the framework', in which I analysed a failed enhancement in my company according to the framework, pointing out which stages were missed. I alluded to this enhancement in my second post from a year ago of the framework.

[SO: 4837; 5, 28, 44
MPP: 1263; 1, 6, 7]

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