The Key Component to a Successfull ERP Implementation

Updated: May 31, 2011

I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly with ERP implementations. I would estimate 30% of my consulting projects, I have been brought in to clean up the mess of poorly managed or implemented ERP projects, or provide project assessments of problem projects. In many cases these are projects of well known ERP consulting implementation service providers. Over the years I have found many companies rely on their ERP implementation service provider to run the ERP show and the management of the project. This often came with problems.. and serious problems to say the least.

For a company who is planning an ERP initiative, it is essential, if not critical, to become ERP savvy, to take ownership of the ERP initiative, lead the ERP project. It is essential to know the project warning signs when they appear and know what corrective action to take. Leading the ERP initiative, owning the project management of the implementation and working in collaboration with your ERP implementation service provider, leveraging their systems expertise, their resources and experience is important and essential for the success of your organizations ERP initiative.

So, how does a company become ERP savvy?

Becoming ERP savvy comes with experience. The best approach is to bring someone on board with solid ERP experience from business requirements development to software selection, to implementation, to post implementation support, to upgrade planning. Whether this is a full time position, or contract position, this is certainly a critcal step to ensure ERP success.

What should a company look for in a ERP specialist?

An ideal profile will include;

  • Experience with software selection
  • Experience with software and services negotiations
  • Experience managing third party implementation service vendors
  • Solid ERP project management of multiple ERP projects
  • Managed functional and technical teams
  • Understands change management
  • Ideally someone with specific ERP system knowledge of the system being implemented, though, not necessary.
  • Ideally someone with specific industry experience would be prefered. Some industries are highly regulated which may need to be considered for ERP initiatives and the process.

Bringing in an experienced ERP specialist, well before the software selection, who is on your side of the fence, I believe is a critical step for any ERP initiative to ensure success of the project.

What if the company is in the middle of a failing implementation?

Seek out a ERP project expert who can give you a project assessment, and corrective actions. A good ERP implementation process/methodology includes a third party assessment, including Go live capability.

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