Save your implementers and your software by reading up on these six critical ERP implementation mistakes, sharing them with your team, and then avoiding them altogether:
1. No top-tier support
Senior management and anybody with the word "executive" in his or her job title, this one's for you: Every ERP implementation project needs ownership from designated leaders at the adopting company. If you don't care, then why should anyone else?
What does a high level of support look like? It's you showing up to implementation team meetings on time, participating in discussions, leaving with clear action items and following through on them, as well as ensuring everyone else does the same.
2. No sense of priority
Organizational discipline is crucial to goal completion no matter what projects are in progress at your company, but know that if you let your ERP implementation fall too low on your list of top priorities, the decision will come back to haunt you.
Organizational discipline is crucial to goal completion.
Priority issues are a direct effect of poor support. As much as project owners must lead by example, they should also instill persistently that sense of value that tells team members what they're doing will make a difference and is absolutely worth the effort. That may mean singling out key members, examining their overall workload and letting them know which of their nonimplementation duties aren't as important until this project is over.
3. No real planning
Fight the instinct to dive right into an implementation without planning carefully. You should not enter a project of this magnitude unless you plot out exactly what you want and how you're going to get there. A little extra time in the planning stages pays off when it helps you avoid costly issues that needle their way in.
Our implementation experts recommend allocating a week of planning for every month of anticipated deployment time. Do the numbers add up on your project? If not, correct them and repeat after us: Planning is not waiting around and doing nothing. Planning is our friend.
4. No defense against scope creep
When you fail to plan properly for an ERP implementation, you invite scope creep. Without objectives established at the outset, little add-ons and extras and distractions will attach themselves to your project until it's nothing but a jumbled mess. Even well-intentioned scope creep has the potential to derail implementation.
All it takes to avoid scope creep is to remind team members why they're undertaking this project in the first place. Focus on objectives. Don't leave the planning phase without it.
Also, speaking of phases, it is always OK to take a phased approach to your ERP implementation. Just don't treat the later stages as dumping grounds for work that's got to be done today.
5. No ERP implementation experts
ERP implementation requires experts at your organization, not the latest class of freshmen. You need people who know the company inside and out, its processes forward and backward, so they can design workflows and automate tasks in ways that will truly drive performance. They must communicate with concision and act without fear.
But abas, you try getting the most knowledgeable people at your company to work on one project and ignore everything else going on.
Here's our suggestion: Choose the core all-stars you want for the project, then move work off of them and onto others temporarily. Everybody wins: Your ERP implementation has its dream team, and your less qualified staff has the opportunity to show you what they've got.
6. No end in sight
A race without a finish line has no end. That's not a Zen parable but an illustration of a common implementation pitfall. When developing action items in the planning stage, be sure to include specific, agreed-upon criteria that indicate when a task is actually finished, something as quantifiable as it is verifiable.
We're not asking you to babysit your team members. On the contrary, in our experience, we've seen teams overwork themselves because they didn't know when to stop. Benchmarking ensures a fast and complete implementation that respects everyone's commitment to the cause.
Is your ERP implementation only narrowly escaping danger? abas ERP can assign your company its own implementation team, comprised of our leading experts, to help you steer clear of disaster. Reach out to us today to find out more.