Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are key to streamlining business processes and ensuring visibility into the health of the overall organization.
Unfortunately, failed ERP implementations have kept organizations from realizing the benefits of such technology. For example, a 2015 IBM Change Management survey showed that 60% of IT projects failed to meet scheduling, budgeting or quality goals.*
With fresh and innovative technologies abound, many organizations are looking to upgrade or modernize their ERP systems to take advantage of the latest in cloud, mobile and application functionality that wasn’t previously available. But how do you avoid becoming another statistic and ensure you realize the return on such a critical investment?
From our experience in revitalizing failed ERP implementations and project successes, Emtec has compiled the most common causes for ERP failures as well as recommendations to ensure success from project initiation to employee adoption. Surprisingly the main challenges during ERP initiatives have absolutely nothing to do with the technology of choice!
Some of the causes for ERP implementation failure are:*Failing to define project success metrics
Set firm, measurable goals and objectives from the start. Ensure these metrics are also clear, measurable, specific, achievable and reportable as well as tied to company-specific business values so that your ERP implementation doesn’t go off the rails.
Organizations can set the parameters for their ERP goals and objectives on their own, or use suggested best practices from the technology vendor or external implementation partner. But successful ERP implementations never have ambiguous or hard to measure goals. If you cannot define project success, you will have a very hard time managing expectations and delivering agreed upon value to your internal stakeholders.
*Not controlling the scope
Establish a clear and achievable ERP project scope and set of requirements before beginning any implementation. ERP systems should be considered a journey of continuous improvement. They should be built from a foundation for success through a controlled, phased approach.
It’s common for organizations to get caught up in the depth of features, functions and capabilities that are presented during evaluation. This leads to undertaking project scopes that are entirely too broad and difficult to achieve. The result is an unmanageable project scope that leads to the inability to deliver within established budgets or timelines. Successful ERP implementations always have well-defined change control processes, never allowing overbroad approaches and accidental or intentional scope creep.
*Not allocating the right--or enough--internal resources
ERP implementations are definitely not for the faint at heart. So there’s no room for your B-team here. Ensure enough A-team members are dedicated to the project as they will understand the long-term importance and value to the company. Plus, these important resources can ensure strong executive sponsorship from the C-suite—as well as help ramp up end user enthusiasm and support from their teams--before the upgrade begins.
Our recent guide reviews the ten key project activities you should address for a successful ERP initiative and avoid failure. Click to get the full list and get your ERP initiative on the right path.
If your organization is in the throes of evaluating an ERP upgrade or thinking about moving your ERP application to the cloud, we can help. Contact us to schedule a quick call. We would be happy to advise you on which direction is right for your organization. Our ERPCertainty™ team can help ensure your implementation is a success story. It is what we do!