Although hard to believe, the causes of ERP implementation failures are rarely due to technical complexities of the software. Each individual ERP implementation project has unique, multidimensional parameters to ensure success. These areas of control and risk mitigation should be evaluated based on your unique business requirements, company culture, industry vertical, selected ERP vendor and ERP software.
In our latest white paper, Ten Tips for a Successful Infor Implementation, we pinpointed some areas essential to a successful Infor implementation. If your organization is considering or in the middle of an Infor initiative, below are just a few important items to consider:
1. Focus on business processes and requirements first. The most successful ERP implementations are those in which the organizations have selected ERP solutions best fit for their unique needs. Before deciding to upgrade or select an Infor solution, your organization should conduct requirements gathering workshops to define the business processes that the software must address. Providing short-listed ERP vendors with a detailed and specific demo script ensures that they demonstrate the software functionality that relates to your specific business processes. The vendor should address the specific products and implementation methodologies that are tailored to your industry vertical, as this will eliminate the need for customizations and simplify upgrades.
2. Ensure adequate training and change management. Similar to most ERP implementations, training and communication are two critical components of a successful Infor implementation. In order to evaluate and mitigate risks throughout the length of the project, organizational change management activities should be built into the initial Infor implementation plan. A root cause for many implementation failures is the resistance to change amongst the organization’s employees. Organizational change management activities are designed to effectively prepare for these potential issues and to proactively engage employees to learn how to use the new software. To further ensure unity in the project’s goals, the project team should regularly communicate with all stakeholders.
3. Leverage the value of conference room pilots (CRPs). In an ERP implementation, testing is important to ensure successful data migration and data flow through the system. Typically, most organizations will perform functional and integration testing in a series of conference room pilots before an Infor system goes live. During the conference room pilots, organizations should focus on non-technical factors as well. For example, well-defined business process and workflow definitions will help communicate with end-users and train employees on the new system. Also, as mentioned before, organizational change and impact analyses will define how to help employees assimilate to the changes. Effective communication will help identify and mitigate the pain points.
In any ERP implementation it is important to understand that most challenges are less about technology and more about organizational change management and business process reengineering. Whether your organization is implementing Infor or another ERP system, engaging a team of independent ERP consultants will help your organization outline the steps that will lead to ERP success.
Learn more by downloading our new white paper, Ten Tips for a Successful Infor Implementation.
Written by Christine Thai, Associate Business Analyst at Panorama Consulting Solutions.