Use proper planning to find success in ERP implementation projects

At the risk of getting swept up by their competition, many organisations have made the decision to invest in a new ERP software hosted in the cloud that allows for mobile accessibility. While the new system is expected to create efficiencies, transitioning to another ERP solution still proves to be a difficult task. “The 2014 ERP Report” from Panorama Consulting revealed only one-quarter of nearly 200 companies surveyed had their ERP implementation projects run on time, and 54 percent said they went over budget.

sage-200-blog-1Don’t underestimate the schedule of ERP projects

According to the research, 36 percent of organisations experienced delays of 25 percent or less of the timeline that was originally scheduled, while 15 percent stated their implementations continued 76 percent or more than time than what was planned. With the problems that businesses suffered when launching ERP projects, executives can learn from their mistakes next time they are transitioning between softwares. It may even be a worthwhile to seek advice from a consulting company.

“In Panorama’s experience, extended durations can also be caused by a lack of third-party guidance, implementation planning, organisational change management and business process improvements, among other reasons,” according to the report. “Consultant costs vary greatly and depend on the level of involvement the consultants have with the project. If an organisation wants to achieve all of benefits outlined in their business case, it will need the assistance of third-party guidance from start to finish.”

Focus on staying organised

While ERP projects are focused around moving from one solution to another, it’s important that they aren’t rushed. Trying to make the switch too quickly can make it difficult to effectively plan for the implementation. The Panorama Consulting study showed 14 percent of companies that had projects go over schedule cited organisational issues as the culprit, while 13 percent said scope expansion and 12 percent believe problems stemmed from data issues. Getting all staff members on board with the deployment can be the difference in a successful ERP project, and one that could be a nightmare for the business.

“Now, more than ever, our findings are emphasising the importance of organisational change and its impact on implementation duration,” said Eric Kimberling, managing partner of Panorama Consulting Solutions. “Successful organisations know that the amount of time and money they invest in training, communication and risk mitigation directly affects benefits realisation and overall project results.”

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