Before you began your ERP implementation, you wanted to ensure you had the right team by your side, so you partnered with a well-known ERP consulting firm and recruited some enthusiastic internal stakeholders.
The only problem? You eventually found yourself over-budget and behind schedule, with no clear go-live date in sight.
If your ERP consultant is not meeting your expectations, it may be time to fire them, hire a new one, and if necessary, file an ERP lawsuit.
Today, we’re talking about how to get around a bad ERP consultant by identifying the signs of a troubled project and analyzing the potential causes to see if they trace back to your consultant.
We’ve worked on a number of ERP expert witness cases, and the signs listed below are those we’ve seen time and again.
Signs You’re Working with a Bad ERP Consultant
Sometimes, you’re so deep in the throes of an upside-down project that it’s difficult to discern where it all went wrong. It’s even harder to realize that your consultant could be at the helm of it all. Let’s take a look at a few signs that your team is being led astray and it’s time to look for a new ERP consulting firm:
1. Your Project is Tracking Over Budget
Have you started to notice your budget is running thin, but you’re nowhere near done? If so, this could mean your consultant is not maintaining appropriate financial control over the project.
Alternatively, it could mean your consultant failed to guide you through ERP requirements gathering before you selected your ERP system. If this is the case, you may find that you’re blowing your budget on expensive software customizations to ensure the system supports your most unique requirements.
A more thorough ERP selection process could have ensured that you selected a system that met your business needs with minimal, if any, configuration or customization.
We are called upon to investigate the feasibility of litigation, provide software expert witness testimony and build background reporting for some of the industry’s highest-profile ERP lawsuits.
2. Your Project is Tracking Behind Schedule
Are you looking at the calendar with bated breath, wondering how you’re going to make up for lost time? When your project tracks behind schedule, it affects and frustrates everyone involved, including your C-suite, sponsors, department leads and employees.
If this is happening, one or all three of these issues could be to blame:
- The consultant is not driving tasks to completion.
- The consultant prepared an overly aggressive plan.
- The consultant lacks organizational change managementexperience or is not using a comprehensive change management methodology.
If your consultant lacks change management experience, you will notice change resistance among employees that is slowing down the implementation. This can make it difficult to reach project milestones.
3. There are no Regular Project Status Meetings
No, you don’t have to meet every single day. However, your ERP project team should know where the project stands on a regular basis. This way, they can assess their progress and provide updates to stakeholders.
It’s one thing to let a consultant jump on board to assist your project, but they should never take the reins and not tell you where you’re headed. Any consultant you hire should ensure constant communication at every turn. If they are not scheduling regular status meetings, they are not performing their job.
4. There are no Regular Steering Committee Meetings
Project status meetings aren’t the only meetings you need to worry about. In addition, you should have regularly scheduled steering committee meetings.
Why do these matter? They ensure executives are engaged, supportive and focused on resolving high-level issues.
If your consultant doesn’t schedule regular steering committee meetings, executives could become disengaged. In turn, you could lose the executive backing necessary to ensure project team engagement and employee buy-in.
5. Your Issues List Keeps Growing
At first, you didn’t think much of it. You noticed a few issues here and there, but they were resolved relatively quickly so you pressed on. Now, however, issues are becoming more common and resolution is slower to arrive.
Does this sound familiar? This could be a sign that the consultant is not driving issues to resolution or is not aggressively attacking system defects.
Remember: This is a major, enterprise-wide investment and you can’t afford to take a laidback approach to addressing technical issues. If your ERP consultant isn’t identifying and correcting defects as soon as they appear, this could lead to ERP failure.
Alternatively, a never-ending issues list could be a lagging indicator of weak business blueprinting and design processes earlier in the project. The importance of finding a consultant with pre-implementation experience cannot be overstated. Jumping the gun at the beginning might save time at first, but you’ll pay for it down the road.
How to Get Around a Bad ERP Consultant
It’s never easy to cut ties with a professional partner, especially one that you brought on board as a trusted advisor. However, you don’t have to stick with a firm that is leading your project into failure, one day at a time.
Do the signs on this list ring any bells? It’s time to take action.
If you’re wondering how to get around a bad ERP consultant, we can help. Request a free consultation below to learn about our ERP project recovery services or ERP expert witness services.