Implementing an ERP solution is an intensive and extensive process that can affect almost every area of your business. Due to its far reaching nature, there are plenty of areas where setbacks can occur in your ERP implementation. In order to avoid these setbacks, and the associated costs that can go with them, you should approach your ERP implementation project with a few key best practices in mind:
By gaining executive buy-in and participation in the deployment planning, you ensure that your project can function within the constraints of the project’s triangle of limitations: time, scope, and money. Additionally, executive involvement in the planning process indicates buy-in from the leadership of the organization, which will encourage user buy-in as well.
Engage All Team Members
Motivate team members by engaging them within a structured internal conversation about best practices as well as how the system will be used by each team member. Employees who are involved in the ERP implementation are more likely to enact the behavioral changes necessary to ensure the project’s success.
Training is Essential
Failing to properly train users on a new ERP system will ensure the failure of the ERP implementation project. However, if your users feel confident in how the system works and how they can use the system to work more efficiently, they will be likely to adopt and use the solution in the most effective way possible. This confidence in the system can only be instilled in the users by properly training them during the ERP implementation process.
Prioritize Project Management
Lack of expertise in the position of project manager can lead to disastrous outcomes. This is not a position for someone without the proper credentials and experience, so this post should be treated as capable of playing a pivotal role in the outcome.
Managing Risk and Contingency Planning
Leaders should engage in risk management from start to finish on the project. No project will execute perfectly, so contingency planning functions as a sub-set of risk management are critical.
Plan for Maintenance
Maintaining an ERP system with adequate resources will extend the useful life of the system. Website Photos Conversely, failing to provide these resources will reduce the life of the system, and it may also introduce additional problems as well. Each time an avoidable problem is not permitted to develop, the company saves money even though these savings may not appear on the balance sheet. Therefore, it is essential that you anticipate the ongoing costs and commitments required to maintain your ERP system to ensure the long-term success of your solution.
While there are many other tips to enhance your ERP implementation experience, these six are absolutely critical.
If you are planning for an ERP implementation project and would like help planning for the cost of the project, download our guide: Beyond Software: How to Budget the Cost of ERP Implementation Services
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2014 but has been updated for freshness and comprehensiveness.