How to Avoid a Failed ERP Project
March 7, 2023
There are a lot of ways an ERP project can go wrong, but the details are seldom talked about. In this blog, we review eight ways a potentially successful ERP implementation can come off the rails.
Circumvent failure by avoiding these mistakes
Failed ERP project . . . Troubled ERP project . . .
Google offers over 12 million responses to these keywords, so it seems like this might actually be a problem.
We know ERP projects fail, because we get a lot of calls to salvage projects that have hit the rocks. Let’s talk about a few of the reasons we have seen projects fail:
Trying to implement a system internally: This isn’t to say that internal staff aren’t necessary. But, in practice, most staff already have a number of responsibilities, and may lack some of the key skills or experience that a good implementation partner will bring to the project. Internal staff commitments are absolutely necessary for project success.
Poor implementation partner selection: It is important to choose a partner that has a track record of successful ERP implementations and can provide the necessary support and resources. Implementation vendors should be able to provide useful references, case studies and demonstrated expertise in your business.
Over customization: ERP systems are designed to be flexible and can be customized to fit the needs of different businesses. However, customizing the system can be costly and can add to the overall budget of the project. Due to Odoo’s unique, universal, flexibility, the temptation is greater to modify the software– In the right hands, this is an incredible strength- In the wrong hands, it is an invitation to unmanageable technical debt.
Lack of proper planning: ERP projects are complex and require careful planning to ensure that all business processes are captured and integrated into the new system. If proper planning is not done, it can lead to delays, budget overruns, and tears.
Poor communication: Effective communication is essential for the success of any project, and ERP projects are no exception. If there is poor communication between team members, stakeholders, and the vendor, it can lead to misunderstandings and delays, i.e. discombobulation.
Incomplete scope: ERP projects often involve the integration of multiple business processes, which can be complex. If the scope of the project is not properly defined or is incomplete, it can lead to misunderstandings and scope creep.
Unclear project goals: It is important to have clear, measurable project goals that are understood by all stakeholders. If these goals are not clearly defined or are not aligned with the overall business strategy, it can lead to pain and frustration.
Resistance to change: Many ERP projects involve significant changes to business processes, which can be difficult for employees to accept. Change Management is a real thing– Read our friend Bob Lewis’s book here for some best practices.
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