Three Common Pitfalls to Avoid in ERP Implementations

Three Common Pitfalls to Avoid in ERP Implementations

By Peter Papaioannou

 

ERP programs are generally undertaken to help businesses transform their organizations and operations to gain competitive advantage and improve their bottom line. However, these programs are complex and many do not live up to their expectations. There many factors that lead to programs being successful or not, and the following three areas are almost always strong contributors to the eventual outcome.

 

Managing Change is Paramount

Too often, ERP programs pay minimal attention to this area. Many programs see this area as encompassing the odd communication to stakeholders or developing and executing training. Programs don’t fail because the technology is poorly implemented, they fail because of the human element. Resistance to change, unengaged stakeholders, and missed expectations especially with senior leaders are all the result of ineffective change management. Change management is not a part-time job within a program, it requires careful planning and execution throughout the implementation journey. To minimize its importance puts the program at risk.

 

Leverage to the Power of the Core Solution

Complexity of design or automating legacy processes are one of the largest contributors to ERP programs failing. ERP solutions generally have leading industry practices embedded from countless implementations for the majority of the core processes. Leverage these processes as much as possible and ask yourself why these can’t work for you. Spend more time and energy on developing well thought through processes for those key strategic or unique functions for your business. Thereby, making sure you are investing in those items that will provide you the most benefit while at the same time taking advantage of as much of the core solution as possible.

 

Integration is Tougher then you think

Integration can include both linkages to legacy systems as well as the seamless stacking of technologies. Legacy applications often invoke challenging constraints to ERP solutions depending on the robustness of the legacy data or functionality. Similarly technology vendors market the seamless integration amongst various products, however, each client environment has some uniqueness which will affect the straightforwardness of the integration. What this means is that you need to be cautious rather than overly optimistic as you plan out your implementation schedule to allow for these challenges. Application and Technology integration are areas where you cannot add resources and expect to gain schedule. These areas are always on the critical path so you need to be mindful as you plan out your implementation.