With the proliferation of modern enterprise technologies comes a big challenge: a proliferation of possible ways to implement those solutions.
There may be a million different ways to implement various digital transformation and ERP software you may be considering, but that doesn’t mean that all of those deployment options are viable for your organization. At the same time, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, either. Any given organization will find that most strategies don’t best fit their unique needs and objectives.
But, how is one to sift through all the various options? Here are five variables to consider when defining the best digital transformation strategy for your organization:
1. Single ERP system or best of breed?
Best of breed options used to have negative connotations. Nowadays, however, integration tools have evolved to the point that many of the historic risks of best of breed solutions aren’t as big of a threat as they used to be. At the same time, single ERP systems aren’t always the best fit for organizations. Some organizations will find that single ERP system option makes the most sense for them, while others will find that best of breed is the best fit. It is important to weight the risks, tradeoffs, and pros and cons of each to determine the best solution for you.
2. Big bang or phased approach?
Depending on your answer to #1, you will need to define whether you want to deploy your solution across your organization all at once – or whether a more measured, phased approach makes more sense. As is the case with #1, there is no perfect solution and either option involves risks and tradeoffs. One may mitigate risk by reducing the need for interim integration points, while the other mitigates the risk of the entire organization changing all at once. Your decision on this point will heavily influence your level of success and risk, so choose wisely.
3. Standardized design up front or design as you go?
Agile methodologies are becoming increasing popular. Software developers like the idea of designing, developing and rolling out functionality in “sprints” as you go, but companies wishing to standardize their operations may find that it makes more sense to take the time to invest in design early in the project before rolling out functionality. Your decision in this area will largely be influenced by how much you would like to standardize versus remain flexible, your need for quick wins versus taking the time to get it right, and your tolerance for more incremental improvements over longer periods of time versus less frequent – but much bigger – changes.
4. Which external resources will we use?
Many organizations are backed into a corner regarding the reseller or system integrator that they use. A vendor may assign you to a reseller based on their own biases, not based on what is best for you as the buyer or which ones are best able to handle the critical non-technical aspects of your implementation. Be sure to recognize that you have the power to choose what outside resources you do or don’t use. For example, even though Panorama Consulting is not affiliated with any software vendors, we still help clients implement those solutions – especially if those clients see the value in project management, organizational change management, business process reengineering and other things that will make or break their projects.
5. What is our organizational change strategy?
Regardless of your answers to the above questions, your organizational change management strategy will make or break your project. This is arguably the most important part of your project either way, so the real question becomes: what is the organizational change strategy that makes the most sense to us? Things like employee communications, training, change impact, organizational readiness assessments, and other organizational change tools should be considered as part of your overarching organizational change management strategy.
Answering these five questions well will help you get started on the right path for a successful implementation. Learn more by downloading our report “Guide to Choosing an ERP Implementation Partner.”