Michael Krigsman is CEO of Asuret and an adviser to Focus Research, where he is touted as “a recognized authority on the causes and prevention of IT failures.” He’s frequently quoted in the press on IT issues, and in an article for Focus a few months ago, Krigsman points out what he deems the five critical points for ERP success.
As we could not agree more strongly with his conclusions, we reprise some of Krigsman’s comments below. You can find his original article here.
Briefly, he makes the point that ERP projects are so much more complicated than IT projects – largely because they involve crossing over so many departments (not to mention, the depth of scope and the change initiatives inherent in most ERP projects).
Beyond infrastructure issues, Krigsman wisely points out that “the most challenging part of many ERP projects is handling workflows and processes that intersect multiple parts of an organization. Many organizations do not pay sufficient attention to changes caused by this business transformation aspect of their implementation.”
To ensure success then, he recommends companies implementing ERP keep these five points in mind:
1. ERP is about business value. It must be treated as an investment, not just a project.
2. Business fit is paramount during software selection. Pay attention to the business results you want to achieve, not just the technical distractions.
3. Prepare for transformation. A new ERP system is the perfect opportunity to transform how you do business. While change is hard, automating old, inefficient processes is what you most want to avoid going forward.
4. Embrace change management. ERP is about transformation and improvement. Be sure you keep up the lines of communication across staffs and departments as you prepare to deploy.
5. Line up strong executive sponsorship. Support for your initiative must come – vocally – from the top, if you’re to have any chance of succeeding.
Again, see Krigsman’s entire article cited earlier for a few more details. But know the above, and you have the gist of it.
We’ve done scores of these, and the lessons above cannot be overemphasized. Whenever we fail to vocalize them, we risk deployment for an unprepared client. A lesson everyone involved – both vendor and client – can ill afford to neglect or forget.