The Processes You Need in Place for a Successful ERP Project
By Dave Woodworth, President at Terillium
There are several reasons an ERP project fails. I’ve learned over the course of my career that there are three broad categories to strategically consider to make an ERP project successful: the people, the processes, and the technology involved. This post will focus on the processes you can put in place to ensure a successful ERP implementation.
The Process of Creating the RoadMap
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without some sort of roadmap to ensure you successfully reach your destination. The same goes for your ERP project. A formal approach, one that’s proven successful, should be a pre-requisite when choosing a consulting firm to guide you through the process.
- A formal and structured methodology should be used and followed when implementing an ERP system.
- Businesses should rely on the consulting firm that provides the best methodology which includes the tasks, tools, templates, etc.
- The methodology should be flexible enough to match the way your business operates.
The Process of Good Communication
Good communication is one of the most important factors in any successful ERP project.
Change can be a scary thing. Employees are afraid of job loss, they worry they won’t be able to adapt, they fear the unknown. Communication is key to putting those fears to rest and ensuring that your employees are onboard and engaged.
- What the goals of the project are
- What the project won’t do
- Will the company allow software modifications
- Project updates / status
- Key milestones and successes (celebrate small and big victories)
- To ALL people of the company and not just to the core team
The Process of Training Your Team
Training is not a one-time event, it should occur early and throughout the project. Consultants know software, you know your business. It is the job of consultants to transfer their knowledge to your team, making it relevant to your business.
Specific ways to transfer knowledge from the ERP Consultant to the Client
- Up front core team training
- Supplemental training from the software company (in our case, Oracle)
- Conference Room Pilot(CRP) tests/ Integrated Conference Room Pilot(ICRP) tests
- End user training
- Working side by side with the consultant on a weekly basis
- Being willing to learn
The Process of Measuring Success
How will you know how you’re doing if you don’t measure? As part of the process, your consultant should help you identify key goals and metrics for measuring success both during and after the project is completed. Measure regularly to determine if you are making progress and if you are revisiting the same issues over and over. At the end of the project, what is required for you to call your project a success?
- Identify specific goals or benefits for the ERP project
- Measure the current state against the future state
- Ensure the goals are quantifiable
- Define specific measurements for the project and review on a regular basis
- Adherence to project schedule and tasks
- Budget dollars versus actual dollars
- Participation by core members of your team
- Acceptance of change
- Resolution of issues in a timely manner
- Achievement of key deliverables
- If you don’t measure it, how will you know you succeeded?
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this series, focused on the technology aspect of a successful ERP project.
Dave Woodworth is the President of Terillium, an award-winning ERP consulting company. Dave has consulted on over 100 ERP implementations throughout his career. Before joining Terillium in 2003, Dave spent 10 years as a consultant and senior manager for Arthur Andersen (now Accenture). He is a proud Miami University graduate, and leads Terillium University – a unique program for new college graduates who want to develop a career path in consulting.