No one goes into a project (especially not a software implementation) with the intent to fail. Along the way, people unwittingly make mistakes. Depending on the size of the mistake, one or two errors during the implementation process might not have such an effect. It’s when there are a series of gaffes that the implementation goes awry. Read on to learn what mistakes can doom an ERP implementation to failure.
You Don’t Have a Goal
Many failed ERP implementations have one thing in common: there was no clear goal for the software. You might be asking, “Why does our organization need a goal for implementing software?”
Here’s why: when you know why you need the software and what you want to accomplish with it, you’ll be able to measure whether those aims have been achieved. Conversely, when you don’t know what you want to achieve, you can’t justify why you implemented an ERP system, and the c-suite will deem it a waste of time, money, and effort.
You Don’t Have a Good Plan
Here’s another common trait shared by failed ERP implementations: the strategic plan for implementing the software wasn’t very good.
Your strategic plan outlines all of the components necessary to make the implementation successful as well as who will be on the team (and what their roles will be). It also details how long the implementation should take and the logical sequence of tasks that will be undertaken. Otherwise, the project could drag on forever with no real end in sight.
You Don’t Have a Dedicated Project Manager
Every project needs someone to guide it to completion. That person needs to be dedicated to that task from start to finish.
If you don’t have a single person in charge, or the person in charge is only doing it part time, no one will take responsibility for mistakes or failures, even when it’s quite clear they’re taking place. A dedicated project manager ensures that the team stays on task, secures the resources team members need, and champions the project to guarantee success.
You Don’t Communicate the Project’s Value
While the c-suite might be enthusiastic about implementing ERP software, they’re not going to be the only ones who use it.
Rank-and-file employees will be the ones who utilize it the most on a day-to-day basis, and if they don’t understand its value, they’ll find workarounds to your new software investment. Not only will you not see ROI on your implementation, the c-suite will begin to wonder if deploying ERP software was such a good idea after all.
You Don’t Provide Enough Training
Another reason many ERP implementations fail is because users don’t understand how to utilize the software. They never received adequate training.
Leaving training at the end of the process and limiting it to one session leads to employees who still have more questions and no one to answer them. Schedule follow-up sessions if it seems as though there’s a need for additional training – the more users know, the better they’ll be able to use the software.