8 Ways to Ensure a Successful ERP Implementation for Project-Driven Companies

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) project-driven company is important to track where resources are used, by whom, and for what purposes.

Table of Content

    Project-driven organizations face a different set of challenges than other business models. Each project is unique and customized, and importantly, temporary. Elements of business that may be standardized and automated in other sectors are less predictable in project-driven businesses.

    Project-driven businesses likely use many more applications and third-party tools to estimate, define scope, and manage different projects. An enterprise resource planning ERP for project-driven company is important to track where resources are used, by whom, and for what purposes. However, when projects are siloed and many tools are in use, smoothly implementing an ERP can seem like an impossible task. Following the eight tasks below can help.

    1. Choose the right partner for implementation.

    Finding a vendor to lead your implementation is the most important requirement for a smooth implementation. They should be experts in the ERP they offer, but that’s the bare minimum. Your partner should also be familiar with project-driven businesses and their unique needs. They should understand your industry.

    Along with making sure the vendor you choose has the requisite experience, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll be working closely with them for months. All the experience in the world won’t ease the pain of working with a team that doesn’t mesh well with your own staff. Professional competency and some level of personal connection are both crucial for a good working relationship that yields a successful implementation.

    Essential Guide for the Modern Professional Services FirmEssential Guide for the Modern Professional Services Firm

    Microsoft Dynamics 365 Buyer's Guide for Professional Services

    This guide will provide an overview of the entire platform and answer questions about features, selection, purchasing, implementation and support of the Dynamics 365 suite of solutions.

    2. Use the right tools.

    All of your due diligence in selecting a vendor pays off when you begin to put their recommendations into practice. Implementing an ERP for project-driven company requires the use of specific tools, and for each tool you need, a number of variations is likely available.

    When you trust your implementation partner and can lean on their past experience, the process of choosing the best tools is much easier. It can mean deciding between two or three recommendations rather than 20 or 40 available options.

    3. Make sure management is clearly on board.

    When everyone in the organization understands that management is enthusiastic about all of the changes that the implementation will entail, it’s much easier to get buy-in. Another positive impact of having the C-suite vocally favoring implementation is that they can help sideline bureaucracy.

    When management is critical or even actively blocks the process of implementation, the consultants’ jobs are much more difficult. Staff members may also be more resistant to the changes than they would be otherwise, as well. Making sure everyone is involved from the beginning diminishes potential barriers and smooths the way from the start.

    4. Plan what to measure.

    Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) early means that the team can clearly understand how the implementation is going at any point. With many projects on-going at any given point, the waters of implementation can become muddy very quickly. Clear KPIs serve as signposts to keep everyone on track throughout the process.

    5. Align the processes.

    Scheduling, billing, project management, payroll, and all the other moving parts of a project-driven business represent discrete processes. Carefully aligning those processes to the implementation is an essential part of success. Defining roles and responsibilities in each area throughout the implementation may help avoid pitfalls in aligning processes.

    6. Provide enough training.

    Numerous scholarly papers on ERP implementation and training have been published, which is one indication of the topic’s importance. Change is difficult, and change without appropriate and adequate training is frustrating. Lack of training is an unnecessary barrier to a successful ERP for a project-driven company.

    Making sure there’s sufficient time for training is part of the planning process and represents another area where your vendor should be able to help. Appropriate training improves productivity and efficiency and helps mitigate risks.

    7. Test. Then test again.

    If you’ve been through any kind of implementation or roll out before, you know just how crucial the testing phase is. There’s no way to predict everything prior to going live, but thorough testing comes close. Working with a trusted partner is (again) one of the best ways to make sure that testing is carried out in a way that ensures the system functions correctly and where problems can be corrected prior to launch.

    8. Plan for on-going support.

    Even after your system is up and running and everyone knows how to use it, have a plan for getting support. Unforeseen bumps in the road can be costly if you don’t have a plan for getting help. Velosio offers numerous options for on-going support, so you can move forward with confidence.

    Business Leaders Guide to the New Digital AgeBusiness Leaders Guide to the New Digital Age