Investing in new enterprise software systems can be transformative. Processes and workflows that seemed slow and inefficient become easier and more effective. Meanwhile, your team members are empowered, and they’re working together to achieve enterprise growth.

However, this type of investment doesn’t come without risks. There are many different enterprise software implementation problems you could encounter. In fact, you might be avoiding this project for this very reason.

With the right steps in place, you can prevent major issues from occurring. Today, we’re sharing what you might encounter, and how to stay on track.

7 Enterprise Software Implementation Problems​

1. Insufficient Project Management​

Whether you’re implementing a manufacturing ERP system, CRM system, or supply chain management system, one of the top challenges of enterprise software implementation is finding the right project manager.

This isn’t just any leader. This is the person who will guide your team members through a major transformation, and you need the right employee for the job.

One of the biggest challenges is complexity. This type of project is long and multi-faceted, encompassing many different phases, including:

  • Discovery and planning
  • Design and development 
  • Data migration and testing 
  • Ongoing support and post-live updates

Your project manager will set expectations, establish timelines, create budgets, and assign individual roles for these phases. 

The right manager to take the lead is someone with natural communication and leadership skills as well as enough seniority to convince C-suite leaders of the project’s importance. 

A Failed Payroll System Implementation

Panorama’s Expert Witness team was retained to provide a forensic analysis and written report to the court regarding the failed implementation of a major software developer’s ERP/payroll system.

2. Setting Murky Software Goals

There are hundreds of different enterprise software vendors out there and an even greater number of solutions to consider. Without a clear plan in place, it’s easy to select the wrong system. 

Before you start scheduling vendor presentations and comparing different features, we recommend establishing project goals. What do you hope to accomplish, and how will you measure success?

An ERP consultant can walk you through the selection process and help you clarify your enterprise software goals. 

3. Under-allocating Project Resources and Budget​

Enterprise software implementation issues can occur when companies underestimate how much time, money, and resources it will take to complete the project.

Keep in mind that project results are meant to be long-lasting and far-reaching. This requires adequate project staffing as well as a realistic budget and timeline to accomplish everything on your checklist. 

4. Prioritizing the Wrong Features

When you’re in the enterprise software selection phase, it’s easy to get stars in your eyes. Vendors are skilled at making their enterprise solutions sound like the very best, and they can give a convincing spiel. 

Without a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve, you could be tempted to choose the software with the most bells and whistles. Unfortunately, that could mean investing in tools and features you don’t actually need.

This is where organizational alignment comes in. Speak to managers and department leaders across your enterprise to understand what they really need from this new technology. What are their pain points and where do they want to grow stronger?

With this information, you can be confident that the enterprise software you select will be aligned with your short-term and long-term goals.

(Here’s our list of the top 10 ERP software.)

5. Mishandling Data Management ​

Enterprise software creates a single, irrefutable source of data for your entire organization. This is one of the reasons companies implement new software in the first place. A modern enterprise system takes all your disparate data sources and merges them into one accessible database.

Yet, to be effective, that data must be clean. It must also be accurate and up-to-date. This might sound like a simple task, but it’s usually more complicated than project teams expect.

Finding all your data can be a challenging task, especially if it’s spread across multiple systems. Then, you must cleanse that data to make sure it isn’t obsolete and redundant.

If you don’t plan for data migration, you’ll be scrambling at the last minute to ensure data integrity and quality. As a result, you might move inefficiencies from one system to the next. This will throw your implementation off course and could even affect your go-live date. 

6. Failing to Focus on Employees

A majority of enterprise software implementation challenges and ERP failures occur because of one issue: Companies prioritize technology over people.

While you obviously need to focus on the technical components of your solution, don’t lose track of the employees who will utilize it.

We recommend establishing an organizational change management approach that puts your team members front and center.

This means understanding that there may be some initial resistance and taking steps to mitigate it before it occurs. Then, it’s about coaching employees through the change and making sure they understand why it’s necessary.

By emphasizing the people side of your project, you can ensure your workforce will be ready to embrace the new solution once it’s in place. 

7. Failing to Continuously Improve

Your enterprise software implementation doesn’t end when your systems are in place and fully functional. Now, it’s time to look for ways to make your operations even better.

Track key performance indicators to measure success and stay on top of new technology and digital transformation trends.

In addition, expect there to be issues and challenges even after deployment and make sure your project team is ready to address them. As you fix problems that arise, look for ways to expand your capabilities even further. This way, you can make sure the software evolves alongside your business and always aligns with your goals.

Project Planning is Everything

The implementation process will require a deep investment of time, energy, and money. Due to its scale, you can expect a few hiccups along the way.

However, enterprise software implementation problems don’t have to derail your entire effort. When you know what potholes might lie ahead, you can take a different route and avoid them altogether.

Our ERP consulting team can guide you through every stage of this transformation, so you can avoid enterprise software failure. Contact us below for a free consultation.

About the author

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As Director of Panorama’s Expert Witness Practice, Bill oversees all expert witness engagements. In addition, he concurrently provides oversight on a number of ERP selection and implementation projects for manufacturing, distribution, healthcare, and public sector clients.

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