Top-10 tips for implementing ERP systems
A programme without a vision is like a ship without a rudder

1. Have, or create, a clear vision;  A programme without a vision is like a ship without a rudder. A vision should be the guiding star for where you are going (excuse the mixed metaphors), no programme should ever move out of the starting blocks without a vision. 

2. It’s a business programme,  do not treat implementing something as important as an ERP system as an IT programme, if you do you will get a system that works for IT and most likely only for IT. 

3. Implement a new, improved, organisation and new, improved ways of working as part of the programme  – do not implement like-for-like, that is a huge wasted opportunity and most likely will leave you worse off than before; and no, you cannot do it later, once an ERP system is in the way it works will “grow roots” almost immediately and then you are stuck with a second upheaval if you want to change it again. 

4. When thinking about timescales be both aggressive and conservative  – be aggressive on getting started quickly, be conservative on the completion timescale; the wait before start virtually always costs you as any benefits gained are outweighed by the lost of momentum and the loss of benefits you could have gained from the new way in the same period, on the other hand trying to accelerate the completion virtually always lead to bad things as you want the new way to be right and if you try to go too fast people will start jumping the low fences and your benefits will get undermined. 

5. Choose your implementation partner carefully;  You will want a partner that BOTH understand your industry (and your business) and understands the ERP system you have selected, compromising on this is likely to lead to bad things either for your benefits or the cost of implementation or both. 

6. Democracy is best – because all the other systems are worse – is not true when governing change programmes;  think hard about what governance approach you apply to your programme, you will want broad consent and buy-in however trying to go too broad is likely to cause trouble too as decisions get both hard to make and take too long. Look for good advice on what programme governance fits your programme & your company. 

7. Testing and training should be at least 25% of your change budget;  These are the poor siblings that always get shuffled to the side on bad programmes, but they are where most of the risks are dealt with and where you get the real long term benefits from – they are the places where things get fine-tuned so they truly work for your business. They are where value is created. 

8. Invest in business change  – a do it from the start of the programme, business change is the red thread through you programme that leads you to the biggest benefits. 

9. Communicate, communicate, and then communicate more.  Everyone says communicate but few understand why, do it to keep people informed, do it to get the critics to come out in the open, do it to understand where things may go wrong, do it early, do it late, do it throughout, do it to learn where things maybe changing, do it to learn about good ideas, do it to succeed. 

10. Last, but very importantly: Do not think it’s over with “go-live” , go-live is where the real benefits start, the tech part may finish here but the business part is only just getting rolling, the difference between an “OK” programme and great return on investment lie mostly post go-live.

These are Problems solved tips for implement ERP systems.
Do you disagree? Have something we should add? Or any other commentary? Let us know, we will be extremely happy to discuss it.

Get in touch