Worldgate subscribes to Government Technology magazine and while reading it the other day I came across an interesting sidebar to an article that does not appear in the online version of the article. It fits so well with what Worldgate has experienced in its experience with ERP work and encapsulates the correct strategy that Worldgate has identified, so I quote some of it below for your benefit:
“Many organizations with failed ERP systems attribute their problems to the software being used. But according to Panorama’s 2010 ERP Report, an ERP project’s success hinges largely on the project team implementing the software. The report found 10 critical factors to having a best-in-class ERP system.
- Focus on business processes and requirements first. Don’t get tied up in the technical capabilities or platforms that a particular software system can support. Identify key business requirements and the proper alignment of software with business operations.
- Don’t rush the ERP evaluation process. Take time to clearly define specific business requirements, thoroughly evaluate the various vendors and plan for a successful project. Spend at least three to four months on the selection and planning process.
- Focus on achieving a healthy ERP return on investment, including post-implementation performance measurement. This requires developing a high-level business case to solicit approval from upper management and establishing key performance measures, setting baselines and targets for those measures and tracking performance after the go-live.
- Gain commitment from executives. Any ERP project without support from its top management will fail. Support from a CIO or IT director alone is not enough.
- Develop a realistic project plan and implementation timeframe. Develop an implementation plan, so you can identify cost and time overruns.
- Commit strong project management and resources to the project. Ensure that your ERP implementation includes a strong project manager and other ‘A-players’ from several departments.
- Ensure adequate organizational change management and training. A focus on training, organizational change management, job design and other employee support measures is crucial to any ERP project.
- Limit software customization. Changes to software source code add to implementation cost, duration and risk.
- Understand the advantages and disadvantages of multiple software delivery options. All ERP solutions have strengths, weaknesses, and tradeoffs. Get an independent, objective perspective on options before making a final decision.
- Use independent ERP expertise. To reduce future costs, utilize third-party expertise to help your team select the right software, implement effectively and manage organizational change.
Source: Government Technology. Vol 23 Issue 10 > October 2010. p. 49. www.govtech.com