Ensuring a Successful ERP Implementation (Part 2)

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of developing an implementation strategy for ensuring a successful ERP implementation for your business. In part 2, we focus on the most common ways ERP implementations fail so yours doesn’t have to.  

ERP implementations are a process. By the time you’ve identified which system will bring the most impact to your business and decide to implement the new system, you’ve done a lot of legwork to get here. Please don’t throw it all away. To ensure your ERP implementation is a success, we’ve identified some of the pitfalls you might otherwise not have prepared for. 

There are many reasons an ERP implementation can fail. Whether a failure occurs due to ineffective requirements gathering, lack of change management, poor communication, the list goes on. But we believe there are three key reasons that an implementation strategy fails. 

Lack of Commitment

A lack of commitment to any project is a great way to drive it into the ground. An ERP project especially needs to be done with intention, so if your organization approaches its ERP implementation as something to hurry up and get finished, you’ve likely failed before really getting started.  

Misalignment in Your Team

Strategies, ideas, and directions for the future should align with your organization’s operations structure, technological structure, and human resources structure. 

An ERP system involves cross-functional, cross-departmental business processes, so the implementation team should represent individuals who understand their department’s functions as well as how other departments operate for better business processes across the board. When assembling your team, evaluate capabilities across multiple dimensions, including:

Lack of Support / Leadership Engagement

If your company fails to get the buy-in of staff and leadership alike, you will fail to deliver on your implementation strategy. The strategy needs to be a cumulative effort, developed through input from the whole company and not just an executive team. Once everyone feels included, there’s less resistance to the changes that come with the strategy.

So in what ways can your organization develop a winning strategy?

Engage the right people

You already know the importance of engaging the executive team, but what about other essential staff who influence the company, the culture, and who can guide people from multiple departments? These are pivotal folks, people who will be able to convey how the rest of the company is handling upcoming changes as well as effectively assisting the execution of your implementation strategy. 

Create realistic, achievable, and measurable goals

A great way to align the right people includes an excellent scope of work document. Breaking out the specific tasks and deadlines of your project is essential to a successful implementation. An ERP scope of work helps get your entire team, both inside and outside of your company, on the same page and keeps everyone working toward the same goal in the same time frame. 

Lean on Your Vendor

Any reputable ERP software vendor you choose will offer the support to ensure the system rollout goes as smoothly as possible. Recognize going in that there will be bumps in the road, but your software vendor is your partner in this technology upgrade, so thoroughly investigate your vendor options.

Some organizations get extraordinarily lucky and experience a perfectly smooth rollout, but it is better to anticipate some snags. Lean on your vendor and ensure they understand your specific needs so when issues arise for which your project team is unprepared, your vendor can help.

Think of the relationship like a marriage—make sure you’re on the same page when you begin the relationship and make sure you’re aligned on where the relationship is going.

Ensure that your vendor has its own growth plans and how their business will evolve in the future. Today’s need will not be what you need in five years, and what your vendor offers today may not be what they offer tomorrow. 

Ensuring a successful ERP implementation for your organization is possible! Commit, align and support your implementation team. Engage the right people from the executive suite and each department in your company. Make the objectives clear and accessible, then find the vendor that aligns with your business and its objectives.  

Find out how we can take you to peak performance in the accounting department and across your entire footprint with speed, accuracy, and insight through modern enterprise resource planning.