back to article Tabletop battle-toys purveyor Games Workshop again warns of risks in Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP project

Fantasy model manufacturer and tabletop wargames flinger Games Workshop has dispatched a warning note about the continued danger inherent to an ongoing project to replace its core ERP systems with Microsoft Dynamics 365. In the Nottingham-HQ'd fiscal '20 half-year report released today for the period ended 1 December, Games …

  1. }{amis}{
    Coat

    How Much??

    So the Warlord titan is worth ~6k points how much does it cost to deploy the Dyanamics 365 DeathStar.

  2. neilo

    Depends on the partner and the PMs

    The success or failure of these projects comes down to three things: choice or partner, effective partner project management and effect client project management.

    If the partner is DXC, for example, they are screwed. But any other D365 partner should be more than capable.

    Project management is where these projects succeed or fail. If the client PM doesn't understand the business (ie. GW just hired a PM or hasn't done a full requirements document with complete gap analysis), the chances of success plummet because of all the moving parts within a company and the PM's ability to align the company. If the partner PM is weak (ie. they can't say "no" at appropriate moments to defer a new pet requirement to post-go live), then the project will collapse. If the partner PM can't marshal the necessary development and testing consultants, and ensure those consultants understand the company, the project is doomed.

    Yes, ERP transitions and big and complex, the opportunity for failure at every turn. Good project management from the client and partner can make even the sketchiest situation succeed.

    1. Bronk's Funeral

      Re: 'Good project management'

      It's *Games Workshop*.

      1. John 104

        Re: 'Good project management'

        Should he have written it as *GW* to make you happy?

        1. Bronk's Funeral

          Re: 'Good project management'

          Just commenting on my experience of GWHQ management, project and otherwise :)

      2. richardcox13

        Re: 'Good project management'

        So that's a DM rather than a PM?

  3. Avatar of They
    Flame

    Great news Warhammer.

    .... Now where are my 'Squats'

    1. Spoonsinger
      Mushroom

      Re: Great news Warhammer.

      Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment.

      1. Avatar of They
        Pint

        Re: Great news Warhammer.

        Well played Sir.

  4. Mad Dave

    >Following our move to a more agile methodology

    They're doomed. Death by clueless Project Manager.

    1. Spoonsinger
      Coat

      Re: They're doomed. Death by clueless Project Manager.

      Blessed is the mind too small for doubt.

  5. israel_hands

    Surprised Games Workshop are buying a system, they usually just nick everything from Michael Moorcock/Fritz Leiber.

    Also, I expect a large amount of the project costs are going into sticking skulls all over their new system.

    1. sad_loser
      Coat

      I'm in the wrong job

      £55m pre-tax profit fleecing the undead. That's better than any unicorn!

      How many vintage black Iron Maiden T-shirts does a man (and I use that term advisedly) need?

  6. Alister Silver badge

    ERP?

    Whilst reading your article I was hoping for an Error Reduction Parameter of Event Related Potential to explain to me the significance of the acronym ERP. I was confused as to why the Estimated Retail Price should be of such concern, and even considered sending an email with the Envelope Return Path set to explainerp@me.com, but after an Extensive Reading Program I rationalised that you were talking about Enterprise Resource Planning.

    1. Norman Nescio

      Re: ERP?

      And I though Enterprise Resource Planning was counting how many security* Redshirts you had left...

      * https://intl.startrek.com/article/did-redshirts-really-die-more-often-on-tos

      ELO ELO ELO, what's going on 'ere then?

  7. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Alert

    ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

    Reduction as in a vastly decreased company bank balance for the one implimenting the sodding thing.

    Don't all ERP systems cost at least three times what the initial quote was?

    1. neilo

      Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

      Don't all ERP systems cost at least three times what the initial quote was?

      Yes... but there is inevitable scope creep, things take longer than expected, data migration takes longer to get right... the number of things that can go wrong on an ERP project is pretty huge.

      So, how do you deliver an ERP project mostly on time and near the budget? Good project management on both sides to begin with. The smallest consulting team you can have. As much experience as you can pack into that team.

      Stuffing greenhorn consultants into these projects slows them down. It's great to build skills, but there is a cost. That's why partner selection is so critical. You can go with the "big" names, like DXC - but you're not buying a lot of skill because the good people left a long time ago. The smaller partners may cost a bit - but only a bit - more, but you're more likely to get a skilled team that already knows how to work together. Don't underestimate the value in a team that already fits together.

      The other thing that can help is to have a very clear project document that lays out expectations. Knowing what is in scope (and what isn't) for the implementation phase is critical.

      Finally, having a client-side testing team is critical to success. Initially, the team needs to be small and consist of just the SMEs, but before the final go/no go decision you need virtually the entire client company to do a "day in the life" sort of exercise. This is an unbelievable way of wringing out all sorts of integration bugs.

      That's what I've learned about successfully ERP implementations.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

        neilo,

        A couple of things you forgot to add to your list: "sacrifice a virgin at midnight on the day before switch-over" and "hope like hell".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

          <cheap_shot>

          Where are you going to find a virgin in this day and... Ah. Games Workshop you say. Carry on.

          </cheap_shot>

        2. neilo

          Re: ERP == Enterprise Reduction Programme

          A couple of things you forgot to add to your list: "sacrifice a virgin at midnight on the day before switch-over" and "hope like hell".

          There's always that. But nothing beats a dress rehearsal run a few days before the actual go-live.

          I was involved in a client rescue a few years back. They had implemented AX2012 with a vast swath of customizations that sorta-kinda worked ok, but they never wanted to test the data migration code. They assured us that their code was perfect. So come the go-live, and their system starts spitting out JSON files the size you've never seen before. The AX code groaned under the load, but dutifully processed the data. As you might have guessed, their data was wrong, and every single journal and customer state they shipped in had issues.

          Every. Single. One.

          So rather than abort the go-live, they decided to press on, and thus began the cleanup work. A year later, the original team started to break up for varying reasons, and I was brought in to keep going with the cleanup. That's the we discovered that not only was there bad data screwing up current transactions, there was bad code writing vast amounts of junk to the database causing further problems.

          The remediation work took another six months, until the new CFO of the company in question said to his finance team to just journal out whatever the issues were and move forwards. We got the system mostly debugged, but by then the company, which had been acquired by a much larger company, decided to break away and found a new partner to continue with.

          Our PM didn't stand up to the customer PM enough to demand go-live testing. And this was the result. For want on 30 minutes of go-live testing, the entire project and customer was lost.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Larry's pissed

    Even badly implemented it will better than the oracle based cluster fuck currently in use

  9. John 104

    Good on them for winning.

    For me, though, I'm not sure what the draw is. It is a hugely expensive game to buy in to and in the end is just miniatures combat. Cool sculpting though.

    1. phuzz Silver badge
      Terminator

      I'm going to guess that they're doing ok these days, because their core audience from the 80's and 90's are now in their thirties and forties and have a lot more than paper-round money to spend on miniatures.

      I've only avoided it because I have other expensive hobbies to waste my money o,n thank you very much.

      pretty sure that's a Necron >>>>>>>

      1. baud Bronze badge

        Well the terminator was there first, but GW copied the design when developing a new faction (remember when GW was doing that?), with even a special rule called 'I'll be back'

  10. Mog_X
    Coat

    Pity Duncan Rhodes has just left - a bit of Agrax Earthshade would have sorted it out.

    Need an extra coat icon....

    1. Wenlocke
      Coat

      The one with two thin ones.

  11. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    You know you're old when you own copies of White Dwarf in double digits - y'know, back when it was good.

    1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

      @Brewster's Angle Grinder

      I fondly remember the 'Citadel Miniatures' catalogue. Still got one somewhere. I'm not being entirely honest when I say somewhere,... it's on the shelf in my home office, same shelf as the 'Runequest 2nd Edition' box :-)

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        "Runequest 2nd Edition"....

        That's on my shelf too. On one side the 3rd Edition Stormbringer and on the other both 1st and 3rd editions of CoC and a whole bundle of supplements. I do like me some Chaosium.

        1. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

          @Timmy B: "CoC"

          I used to like a bit of CoC myself,... just show what a versatile system it was, meant you could immerse yourself in a new genre without having to completely learn new game mechanics.

          Right, I'm off to Ebay to see if they have 2nd Ed COC books,.....

          1. Timmy B Silver badge

            Surprising affordable due to the amount of them out there. Well - they were last time I looked.

    2. cream wobbly

      Back when the internet was good as well...

  12. oceanhippie

    Roll a d6?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Odds are a bit generous there. Make it a D100...

  13. baud Bronze badge

    Tips and corrections - but too lazy to write an email

    The header picture is from the video game adaptation of Battlefleet Gothic, released a few years ago, with the tabletop version having been out of print for years. And it's from the fictional universe of Warhammer 40000, not Warhammer.

    1. chuBb.

      Re: Tips and corrections - but too lazy to write an email

      A fine attempt at being a grognard but...

      BFG is a GW property, might be out of print but so is space hulk, gorkamorka and many many others,

      There is no Warhammer universe (now, even then it was called the old world), just the mortal realms, although there is always the arguments (due to shared chaotic pantheon) that the old world was just a backwater planet like cadia with unusally thin reality between itself and the warp, while AoS is set in the webway (is sigmar one of the primarchs russ dealt with??)

      Finally GW have given up and just accept that everything is "warhammer", GW shops now warhammer, Warhammer world (which is at least 60% 40k exhibits), even the cover of WD proudly claims its the "ultimate WARHAMMER magazine"

      So yeah R.I.O.T (Relax Its Only Toysoldiers)

      So in short referring to anything that isnt LoTR related from GW as being set in the warhammer universe is not incorrect, especially if you are not one of us ;)

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