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Best Practices for Avoiding ERP Implementation Failures #3–Engaging & Involving the IT Team

There’s No ‘IT’ in Team, but There Should Be

Software Advice released their eBook “How to Avoid ERP Implementation Failures” giving practical input and summarizing with ‘Best Practices’. Best Practice #3 deals with Engaging & Involving the IT Team.

Burnson: Assuming the organization has an in-house IT team that doesn’t just do help desk but also manages company-wide projects, decision makers MUST engage and involve the IT Team during the selection and implementation phases. Most importantly—you have to bring them to the table before embarking on a massive IT project. Get their buy-in with the decision.

Why is IT so Critical for Successful ERP Implementation?

  • IT can share concerns or potential challenges they foresee with the project
  • IT may have prior experience with the ERP solution and offer input from this experience
  • IT is the correct team to defer to draft a requirements list
  • IT can communicate necessary resources needed to get the project finished

Hudson: From our 30+ years of ERP Implementation experience, here are some additional key points regarding involving the IT team.

  • IT Director is usually the Project Manager, demonstrating the importance of IT in the project
  • IT Director needs to be present at all meetings – almost always some reference to IT in meetings, such as:
    • Infrastructure, Access Rights, and Integration to other systems
  • IT manages Installation Process and Access Rights, key initial components of project
  • IT prepares both the ERP Test Environment and Production Environment
  • IT plays CRUCIAL role in cut-over from the customer’s current system to Updated ERP, managing backups, opening balances and contingency plans

Burnson: I would go so far to say that the quickest way for an implementation project to go south is to dump the project on an ill-prepared IT team that had no say in the matter and been given unrealistic deadlines to execute the project. Engage & Involve the IT Team!

Christy Hudson is a Sr. Marketing Manager at BatchMaster Software. 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.