Kill the ‘Not Invented Here’ Attitude – For Maximum Results

By Clinton Jones on April 7, 2014

Rob Enderle, writer, makes reference in his Enterprise IT resolutions for 2014 to his reading of the review. It used the example of the wheelbarrow as being exemplary of the ‘not invented here’ mindset that some people have with respect to new and different ways of doing things.

old wheelbarrowsChuko Liang (181-234 A.D.) is considered to be the inventor of the wheelbarrow. Liang was a Chinese Imperial general who used wheelbarrows to transport supplies and injured personnel. The largest of these ‘Chinese’ wheelbarrows had two wheels and required two men to operate it.

It’s widely believed that the wheelbarrow enjoys a history longer than the rickshaw. The late Qing Dynasty, witnessed the heyday of the wheelbarrow, which continued to be used many years later, but is rarely seen in modern China today.

Another wheelbarrow type is the central-wheeled wheelbarrow, which could generally transport six human passengers at once, and distributed the load between the animal or human driver pulling the wheelbarrow and the wheel.  As an important transportation tool, the wheelbarrow was of great influence particularly when it reputedly spread to Europe during the late Ming Dynasty.

However, the lower carrying surface of the European wheelbarrow made this alternative more useful for short-haul work. There was a belief that it was invented in Europe, because the European wheelbarrow became more popular than in China.

As Enderle points out, many products, initiatives and companies themselves, have died because of the “not invented here” philosophy. He recommends that you take a hard look at your core business practices.  This is especially true when you are tapped for resources and have constrained budgets. However, real business problems with data and automation still need to be addressed. If they aren’t bringing your company value, and they have created bad habits, get rid of them.

Winshuttle provides businesses with a new way to think about how to automate and integrate SAP ERP processes and facilitate collaboration in your business. Winshuttle’s innovative approach doesn’t require any custom LSMW, ABAP or .NET development and allows you to rapidly create automations from Excel within minutes using the existing SAP transactions or BAPIs that you are familiar with.

For example, if you want to use a web form, that involves multiple participants, you could use the same technical objects but instead of embedding them in workbooks, you would publish them as web services and access them via web forms. In addition, you could wrap Winshuttle Foundation Workflows, around either the Excel or web-form scenarios, to provide more cross functional collaboration.


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Learn more about how you can be innovative with your use of SAP with Winshuttle for Master Data by downloading the SAP Master Data Innovation with Winshuttle and SharePoint Webinar.

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About the author

Clinton Jones is a Director for Finance Solutions Management at Winshuttle where he has worked since 2009. He is internationally experienced having worked on finance technologies and business process with a particular focus on integrated business solutions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Clinton serves as a technical consultant on technology and quality management as it relates to data and process management and governance for finance organizations globally. Prior to Winshuttle he served as a Technical Quality Manager at SAP and with Microsoft in their Global Foundation Services group.

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