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Best Practices for Avoiding ERP Implementation Failures

Best Practices

Don’t Rush It

Recently, Software Advice released their eBook “How to Avoid ERP Implementation Failures” giving practical input and summarizing with ‘Best Practices’. Best Practice #2 – Don’t Rush It is discussed below with insight from SA’s Forrest Burnson and BatchMaster’s Christy Hudson.

Burnson: Depending on the size of the manufacturer, it can take anywhere from six months to several years to fully implement a new system. Along the way, one of the biggest points is that you have to have some degree of flexibility of the length of implementation time. It’s better to take more time with an implementation and get it right than to rush an implementation and wind up back where you started. Also as quoted from the eBook by a contributor: “Trust your implementation teams when they give you a time frame. You are paying for their expertise, so believe them. Trying to force a project to deliver within an unrealistic time frame is a recipe for disaster.”

BatchMaster: Yes, both factors of trusting your implementation team and having some degree of flexibility during implementation are vital and help you stay mindful of the ‘Don’t Rush It’ Best Practice. Here are some Practical steps recommended by BatchMaster consultants in the Implementation Process to set proper implementation timeframes:

  1. Participate in an On-Site Discovery
    At the start of an implementation and before setting a Go Live Date, BatchMaster recommends first participating in an On-Site Discovery session, which is the initial session at the start of Implementation. BatchMaster’s On-Site Discovery session ranges from 2-5 days, on-site. It starts with a plant tour and includes discussing each phase of implementation, gathering the details regarding the current manufacturing process, and pouring through detailed customer requirements. Ensure your team spends the necessary time with our consultants to produce a clearly defined set of business requirements and expectations.
  2. Set Go-Live Date with Consultant
    After digesting all requirements and collaboratively developing the delivery plan, the team can determine the expected Go-Live Date.

    • Define the assumptions that lead to the determination of your go live date
    • Take the time to build in contingency plans upfront
    • Build in time to meet together to discuss goals and whether they are being met in the allotted timeframe
  3. Trust your Consultant with the Time Frame and Rely on your detailed Implementation Plan
    Armed with a detailed implementation plan upfront, your company has better visibility into the scheduled deliverables. If any dates need to be pushed out, your team needs to allow for flexibility in re-evaluating the business requirements and expectations.

Spending adequate time with your consultants during the On-Site Discovery session of the implementation is essential in minimizing misunderstandings and surprises, as well as setting clear expectations. If however there are changing customer requirements (which is often the case) or the timeframe planned was not sufficient then some degree of flexibility may be necessary in reevaluating planned expectations vs. time required for implementation.

So plan, be clear, set goals and be flexible to achieve this Best Practice – Don’t Rush It.

Christy Hudson is a Sr. Marketing Manager at ERP for Process Manufacturing. She is approaching the 30-year mark working with and for organizations providing ERP solutions to the for process manufacturing industry. Christy has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She has also completed numerous courses in Marketing and Accounting.

Forrest Burnson is a market research associate at Software Advice, a firm that connects software buyers with vendors where he covers the ERP, inventory management and supply chain markets. He graduated from the University of the South with degrees in political science and French studies. In 2013, he earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas.

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