Signs Your ERP Implementation has Gone Awry (and How to Save the Project)
As we have talked about in previous blog posts, purchasing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software can be an expensive endeavor and implementations can be lengthy with a myriad of hurdles to overcome. Unfortunately, by the time an implementation fails entirely, problems have been permeating for a while. However, there are signs to look for and ways to help save an ERP implementation that is starting to (or has already) gone awry.
The Business Analysis is Incomplete
To ensure ERP implementation success it is important to conduct a detailed business analysis, with all business processes mapped out, before the work begins. Define each business process that will be impacted by an ERP implementation, determine who is in charge of ensuring that it is working and figure out what resources will be needed to get it right and within the designated timeline.
Not Enough Testing
We cannot emphasize enough how important the testing stage is in an implementation. Just because your ERP vendor may assure you everything is working the way it is supposed to, it does not mean it is working the way your business needs it to work. In addition, you do not want to wait until the end of the implementation phase to start testing. At this point, it is often too late to fix any major problems. Unfortunately, that is the classic timeline. Typically, a company only tests the newly implemented software right before the go-live. Testing your software early and often, perhaps even a chunk of code at a time provides a plethora of benefits not the least of which is a smooth, problem-free ERP launch.
No Contingency Process
If there is no formal process to handle requests for customizations, configurations, or just general changes in the ERP implementation, the project is bound to be a disaster. It is important to establish a process – in the early stages of the project – how your implementation team will address any and all changes, requests for customizations, or roadblocks that may (probably will) occur. By doing this you can help to minimize disruptions and ensure thorough consideration of each system change request.
Change is never easy. And, implementing a new ERP software is a big change for any business. There are so many potential points of failure in a project of this scope. Fortunately, if you are aware of the process, act before the software is implemented fully; there is still time to save the project. The important things to remember are to plan, plan, and plan some more. Thorough advance planning is key to reaping every possible advantage from an ERP implementation. Once you are done planning, test, test, and test some more to ensure your new ERP will perform the way your business wants and needs it to. And finally, be sure to address any and all customization requests during your planning stage, not after deployment.
For more information on ways to facilitate a smooth ERP implementation, please visit our resource center. To talk to someone about how to choose an ERP that is right for your business, and our implementation philosophy, please contact ArcherPoint today for a free phone evaluation.