ERP projects: give the gift of efficiency and keep your staff merry
Why do ERP implementations take longer than other solutions’ implementations? Mike O’Regan looks back into the mirror of his 20 years’ ERP experience and outlines effective ways to get your teams on board for a successful – and merry – ERP project.
Christmas is upon us. Christmas lights, Christmas food, Christmas drinks… It is – we are told – the season to be merry. But when is the last time you checked your employees actually were?
Many organisations fail to recognise that without their people, their business is worthless. You might have purchased new software, systems and solutions, but the truth is: if your staff are not enjoying using them and engaging properly, then the investment will soon prove futile.
Organisations tend to wrongly put the blame on “change-resistant employees”. In reality, teams are often only replicating a more general attitude that transpires from the more senior ranks of your organisation. For an ERP project to work successfully, change must be endorsed by all – and this has to start at the very top. Lead by example. Show your teams how to embrace change: with curiosity and enthusiasm. Soon, your teams will follow.
In the many projects I participated to, I have found that process and organisational changes are the number one challenge when it comes to keeping an ERP project on schedule. Organisations tend to sacrifice organisational change management to “save cost”. But it should remain at the top of the list during the whole project’s duration. When achieved wisely and timely, organisational change management will have valuable results on a business’s digital transformation.
An organisational change strategy has to be thought through and must match a business’s very own goals, objectives and culture. This strategy shaping should best take place during the ERP solution evaluation stage, so that the leadership team can fathom the organisation’s dynamics and sources of potential resistance.
Most organisations, however, do not have sufficient internal ERP expertise and know-how to complete an end-to-end solution implementation successfully. As a result, they do not reap all the benefits an ERP project should yield. And return on investment remains limited, if not barely visible. In my experience, many ERP projects fail because a not-fit-for purpose solution was selected, or because of a lack of expertise and of focus on people and processes. Engaging with a suitable consulting partner for planning and implementation guidance will save you many sleepless nights over how to get your ERP project completed without too many casualties.
By putting more focus on the business aspect of your ERP project – and a bit less on the technical aspect – you will ensure project success and efficiency, and your employees will be on board with change.
At Codec-dss, we have strong ERP implementation expertise, and we understand how the Microsoft technology stack can resolve business problems and allow organisations to grow revenue.
Mike O’Regan is the Enterprise Solutions Practice Lead of our Microsoft Practice. Since its beginnings in 2010, our Microsoft practice has become the largest one in Ireland. It now operates with a team of 90+ business-focused technical experts.