If you’re just about to embark on an ERP implementation there are so many things that you’re going to be faced with, it can feel like an overwhelming task to get everything from planning to completion.
However, there are things you can do to make sure your implementation is a roaring success.
Be clear on what you want
The chances are, if you’re embarking on an ERP implementation it’s because something has forced a change. This could be something as simple as a company takeover, or perhaps the sunsetting of a previous ERP.
No matter what reason is forcing the change, being clear on your goals is imperative to the success of an implementation.
These goals need to be much more than ‘we need some new software’ too. They are more helpful to all involved if they have some idea of time attached to them. This helps both you as the client and the project delivery team.
And stick to it
Have you ever worked on a project that feels never-ending, perhaps where the goalposts changed constantly? That’s scope creep.
Scope creep is something that happens and can happen quite a lot if the project timeline, milestones and goals are not clear from the start. Whilst it sounds pretty innocent, it can quickly eat into the timeline which was agreed, causing delays to projects. In the worst cases, it can even cause projects to fail.
Most implementation teams will be aware that things can change, and often do change in business. But these changes need to be properly planned for in order not to derail what may already be tight deadlines.
Be great at communicating
This sounds obvious, but it’s something that we feel we need to mention.
In a larger business, there are likely to be many opinions about what the scope of the project should be. This could be things like what the priorities are, and of course, who is in charge of the project. Where this happens, there is the opportunity for wires to be crossed and tempers to be frayed, which no one wants to see.
There may be very different cultures of communication across businesses that an implementation team may work with. But by establishing how you’re going to communicate, e.g. by emails or project planning software, you can save a lot of frustration and misunderstandings.
Getting this right is going to help things run smoothly!
Be ready for organisational change
Implementing new ERP software may uncover some aspects of your business which are not operating as effectively as they could. It may be that the process you followed for years is just not compatible with the software you are looking to use or perhaps is just outdated.
This means that organisational change, no matter how large or small, is inevitable.
How you embrace that will massively impact the success of your implementation. If you are organisationally closed to change, then you are going to find that things will be hard going. You’ll struggle to get the buy-in of staff, which could again put the project at risk.
Being open to change means that you’re more likely to come out the other side which a much healthier business, and happier staff.
It’s about the people, not the technology
Finally, following on from the point above, the success of the implementation is all tied into the people involved. If you have great technology, but a team that doesn’t believe in it, guess what? The project is likely to fail.
If you have great people, who are fully engaged with the project, then you’re more than halfway there.
People make projects happen. So if you’re starting to feel like you need to switch out software, why not get them involved? Ask them what they think. What do they feel works well? What is not helping them do their job?
Involving them from the start is more likely to give you a positive outcome in the end.
If you need any help with preparing for your ERP implementation, then why not get in touch?