A smooth implementation is in sight, but only if you assess potential risks as early as possible to avoid budget woes down the line, as well as extended timelines or – worse – organizational instability. To help you prevent these scenarios, we’ve compiled a list of methods from business professionals who have one credential you’re after: successful ERP implementation.
As we mentioned in our last post, strategic direction is crucial to overcoming the challenges associated with ERP implementation. Most implementation failures are less about technology and more about a lack of success with process improvement and organizational change management. The tips below focus on helping you overcome concerns in those areas.
Promote workflow awareness.
Some organizations miss the panorama landscape of current workflow capabilities. Problematic workflow processes may be unpredictable, but it’s necessary to clean up these issues before implementing new ERP technology. Organizations are able to maximize ERP implementation benefits by selecting a healthy mix of new systematic tool sets that come with any ERP system and leveraging it as an improvement to their workflow.
Looking at underlying business processes and improving them before implementation is one way to save time and money. Post-implementation, making users aware of how they fit into the new workflow is essential for success. For example, most users are unaware of the positive and negative effects they have on other users along the workflow path, so it’s imperative to make each user aware that his or her output equals another user’s input.
Embrace change management at the outset.
During ERP implementation, change management should run alongside project management. So, how exactly does one inform the other? As the new technology is implemented, it’s important to align project milestones with change management communications regarding implementation updates. On the project management side, you perform the core technology work. On the change management side, you monitor the performance of the new software and its impact on certain teams and stakeholders to help them cope and grow with the new technology.
Fact gathering is the fuel behind effective change management. During the technology transition, ask questions. What’s working? What’s not? Have prior headaches been alleviated, or are new ones forming? Change management means promoting a proactive approach and remaining flexible as the technology implementation process unfolds. Remember to account for change management activities in your project scope and budget. Organizations should allocate between 10-20 percent of the technology spend to change management activities.
Adopting a risk-focused approach keeps implementation phases on track and ensures that you hit key milestones provided by your partner. External professional resources are extremely important for risk assessment. Best practices specific to your industry and ERP software help your organization monitor and mitigate risk.