Bottom line is that bad decisions and poor planning costs your company money and the confidence of your employees, shareholders and customers.
A good plan is essential. Following through with that plan is paramount to the success of the project.
- Details were overlooked during the planning stage
- Insufficient Budget
- Undocumented Requirements
- Personnel Issues
- Unrealistic Goals
- Inexperienced Project Lead
- Lack of Managerial Support
- Insufficient Resources
- Wrong Software
- Unrealistic Timelines
- Insufficient Testing
- Reassess the implementation plan and address the (potential) failures or shortcomings.
- Manage phases of the project rather than having everything hinge upon a single hurdle
- Create realistic goals and timelines
- Identify the actual issues and address them accordingly
- Realize that without 100% support (starting from the top), phases of the project are likely to fail.
- Make sure you have the right people in place to make the plan a success.
- Accurately analyze your business processes to be sure you are getting what you need.
- Refine business processes or customize the software to adapt to transactions that just don’t fit into the selected software.
- Test all transactions and test again.
If your implementation runs into any hurdles along the way, analyze them immediately and come up with a plan. Most conceived hurdles are not addressed by ignoring them. If your CSR agent tells you during the discovery phase that he cannot perform his job without specific data being captured (and reported on), and the software does not address this need – raise the red flag early. Address the issue and determine whether this is critical. Make a plan to address the issue early. Doing it later may be disastrous to the project plan.
Analyze the plan on a regular basis. Don’t assume that everyone is doing what is expected. Employees are generally caught up with their daily routine and can’t justify taking additional time and pressure of working on (what they consider) a side project. Some may get defensive when a consultant or manager asks them a hundred questions about their job responsibilities. Some may even hide details for fear of job security. Address the issues and analyze the plan and progress regularly (we like weekly progress meetings).
- Most ERP Implementations are doomed to go over budget from the start. Unrealistic initial budgets, poor plans and a poor foundation generally contribute to the project going over budget.
- The budget must be realistic to start with. Just because you think you can do it cheaper, doesn’t mean that you can. Be realistic and evaluate the budget in an educated manner. You can’t just decide that you aren’t going to pay ‘x’ amount of dollars for a phase of the project, and expect it to be done correctly.
- Spend the money and time at the beginning of the project to put together a good plan.
- Have realistic expectations of timeline and resources. This is a big undertaking. The success of your company can depend on its success. Give the project the attention, time and resources it needs to succeed.
- Document your current procedures and processes before looking for new software. Decide what you want to change and do differently. This helps in the selection process of new software as well.
- Plan on your employees being overworked and frustrated. Know that this is going to happen, and you could keep your project on time and on budget.
- Bring in temps to assist with data entry
- Give your employees incentives to stay longer and help more
- Find out how much your consultants can automate
- Working lunches and dinner discussions carry value with employees.
- Stay on task – If you committed to having your new GL Structure ready on 7/1, have it ready. Most projects go over budget because deadlines are not met. Create realistic deadlines and stick to them.