As a recent study by Panorama Consulting, which bills itself as “the world’s leading Independent ERP consulting firm” points out, ERP implementations generally occur in one of three ways. Each has an effect on employee buy-in, which has been shown by them and other industry experts to be one of the most critical factors in ERP implementation success. Those methods included:
1. The ‘Big Bang’ approach. In this approach, all ERP modules go live at all locations at the same time. All employees are forced to use the new system with no opportunity to fall back on the old. Business disruptions in these cases are to be expected, and in some cases, they can be near-fatal. At the least, orders and payments can be delayed, processes disrupted, frustration runs high, and confusion can reign. While Panorama’s clients tend to be larger firms, it’s still worth noting that only about 10% of their surveyed clients chose this Big Bang approach to implementation.
2. The second approach, and the most popular, is the ‘Phased’ approach, wherein modules are implemented across multiple locations or departments at different times. This helps minimize business disruption, but can sometimes create resistance to change across some departments. Still, almost half (47%) of implementations surveyed by Panorama Consulting used some form of the Phased approach. [As ERP implementers ourselves, we recommend this approach in virtually all cases.]
3. The third approach is denoted by Panorama as a ‘Hybrid’ approach, in which a third party vendor is chosen to host the solution. About 20% of respondents took such an approach.
A distinction was made by Panorama between what they called a ‘Hard’ cutover (or, “go live”) approach versus a ‘Parallel’ cutover. In the Hard cutover, employees had no access to the old system once they went live. They moved immediately to the new system. The Parallel cutover provides for access back to the old system. Here companies are warned to be watchful of employees resistant to the new system who are tempted to hold on too long to the old system, and who can be disruptive to a planned successful cutover to the new system. Slightly more than half used the Hard cutover approach.
That’s the scoop on implementation method. Next, we’ll look at what was learned about Benefits Realization. Stay tuned…