August 7, 2019 IT AWARE 0
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Gartner says 55%-75% of ERP projects fail.

Failure of an ERP project is not something companies can just shake off and carry on. ERP projects are usually so serious in their nature, that their failure can cause a major setback for the entire company, or even its death.

To give you an idea of how epic such a fail can be, here is an example. Vodafone decided to consolidate its CRMs into one of Oracle’s cloud platforms and got part of the customer accounts messed up. This resulted in major losses for the company, plus a £4.6 million fine.

Of course the bigger the company, the more massive the wreck. Luckily, most of us won’t get a chance of such a blow-up, just because we are not at that scale. Nonetheless, an ERP project that’s gone bad can suck the life out of any company regardless its size.

How does such a bright-sided and well-intentioned endeavor, as ERP system development, ends up in such a debacle?

Here are some reasons that we can name from our experience, and they mostly coincide with those of CIO experts:

  • Having ineffective business processes – if you haven’t worked on your business processes to make them effective and unified, then no automation tool will help
  • Not including all stakeholders, especially end-users, into decision-making – everyone who is going to be using the system and affected by it, should have a say in the project
  • Failing to prioritize features – which can be another extreme of trying to please everyone, and therefore, delaying the shipment of the system by months or even years.
  • Trying to deliver the whole thing at once – long gone are the days of waterfall planning, why wait so long and spend so much just to learn that the software sucks, better to learn it early on, and fix it bit by bit.
  • Failing to get everyone onboard – a new ERP system means people need to change the way they work, they’d better understand why and know what to do, otherwise, no one will use it.
  • Forgetting to budget for maintenance – you will likely require changes along the way, not to mention that things can break, so it is wise to account for it in your budget.

I’m sure there are many more, like choosing the wrong vendor, but that is the subject of another article. In this article, we’d rather talk about the 8 ways of avoiding those pitfalls, by carefully planning your ERP project. We share our own experience, as well as the experience of others, so be prepared for a lot of examples.

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