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Managing Successful ERP Projects

Managing Successful ERP Projects

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Published by Charteris Plc

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Published by: Charteris Plc on Oct 19, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/10/2013

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2005 Charteris plc
ERP Projects 
 A guide to successfulimplementations
 Version 1.0Craig Scollick & Ed Estaugh24 June 2005
 
 24 June 2005 Version 1.0 A guide to successful implementations Page 2 of 19 
CONTENTS
CONTENTS 2
 
1.
 
INTRODUCTION 3
 
2.
 
SOME COMMON PROBLEMS 4
 
2.1
 
Confusion over the project approach 4
 
2.2
 
Inadequate business process mapping 4
 
2.3
 
Inability to track configuration progress for the ERP system 5
 
2.4
 
Customisations 5
 
2.5
 
Data Migration 5
 
2.6
 
Overruns in the build phase 6
 
2.7
 
Silo based teams lose sight of the “end to end” solution 6
 
2.8
 
Ongoing system maintenance costs higher than forecast 6
 
2.9
 
Changing Requirements over the lifecycle 6
 
3.
 
 AN APPROACH TO SUCCESSFUL DELIVERY 7
 
3.1
 
 Approach and discipline 7
 
3.2
 
Planning and Execution 7
 
3.3
 
 Attitude 8
 
3.4
 
Identifying Critical Business Processes 8
 
3.5
 
Suitably experienced functional staff with the correct attitude 10
 
3.6
 
Effective cross team communication 10
 
3.7
 
Combined customer/supplier teams 11
 
3.8
 
Conference Room Pilots (CRPs) 11
 
3.9
 
Issue or Observation tracking 12
 
3.10
 
Effective and pragmatic risk management 13
 
3.11
 
Configuration 14
 
3.12
 
Customisation 16
 
3.13
 
 Testing 17
 
3.14
 
Fallback or contingency planning 19
 
3.15
 
 The point of no return 19
 
3.16
 
 The first months post launch 19
 
3.17
 
Stress Management and ERP projects 20
 
4.
 
CONCLUSIONS 22
 
 
 24 June 2005 Version 1.0 A guide to successful implementations Page 3 of 19 
1.
 
INTRODUCTION
ERP implementation projects are notorious for financial and/or timescale overruns. This paper aims toidentify common reasons why overruns occur and makes practical suggestions as to how organisationscan ensure their approach maximises the probability of success within the necessary time and budgetconstraints. There is a common myth that an ERP project is somehow different from other types of IT project. Thisis not the case. If the implementation is approached in a structured manner, using an agreed approach,employing suitably experienced staff, utilising appropriate management metrics with supplier andcustomer working in a spirit of cooperation it is highly likely to succeed. If any of these high level factorsare not in place then the probability of success will decrease. The following statements are often used by both suppliers and customers during ERP implementations:
 
“They said it would be out of the box with minimal customisation but it wasn’t…”
 
“We thought it was going really well until the half way through the customisations …”
 
“We just couldn’t seem to get what we wanted…”
 
“They kept changing their mind about what they wanted…”
 
“We finally realised we were not going to complete the project next month…”
 
”It is the Supplier’s / Customer’s / Product’s fault…”.ERP implementations can be complex and challenging but there is no reason why these statements needto be heard. Typically they are a product of a misalignment between the supplier and customerexpectations. Some of this misalignment may be due to inexperience, the incorrect approach or the useof inappropriate or inaccurate metrics to visibly track progress.Fundamental to a successful ERP implementation is mutual respect and trust between the supplier andthe customer. When problems, or misalignments occur, and they often do, there must be a willingness to work jointly through the issues to a successful resolution regardless of who might be responsible. Many projects lose direction and enter into destructive blame cycles which at best slow progress and at worstmay lead to litigation. Ideally a joint supplier and client implementation team should be used which hasembedded within it key business representatives. These business secondees ought to help in developing the bridges between the project and the business to ensure that the ultimate goal of a successfulimplementation is met.Based on our experiences of ERP implementations, this paper highlights some of the common pitfalls which can occur during an implementation and aims to provide ways to increase the visibility of realprogress and minimise the often painful situations when expectations are not met.

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