Your implementation partner assures you that everything’s going great, but you have an uneasy feeling about how the project is progressing – is it paranoia or intuition?
If you’re talking about an ERP project, it’s probably intuition. You shouldn’t ignore any indication that something is awry with your system integrator, project manager or internal team. Be on the lookout for the following red flags: budget overruns, schedule overruns, delayed deliverables, cancelled meetings, unexplained absences and staffing shortages without proper backfill.
Individually, these missteps aren’t necessarily cause for concern, but taken together, they should trigger uneasiness – if not sheer panic. You are on the brink of ERP failure, and it’s time to hire a third-party for project recovery services.
The Rest of Us
For the rest us, we just need to take steps to avoid ERP failure. A large contributor to failure is the cutting of important project deliverables due to time or money constraints. Your project plan should include organizational change management, business process reengineering and adequate budgeting and resource allocation.
A common challenge with resource allocation is the “and factor.” Sometimes, employees will be assigned to the ERP implementation but still be expected to fulfill their regular job duties. Schedule overruns can occur when employees prioritize their day job over the project – this is to be expected. The key is to avoid this sticky situation altogether, and hire outside resources.
More Tips for Avoiding Failure
Even if your project is progressing beautifully, it doesn’t hurt to look beneath the surface. At the very least, this is a good form of risk mitigation. You should ask yourself the following questions:
- Is our system integrator fulfilling their contract? Do we need a new integrator or can the relationship be restored?
- Did we select the right ERP software or do we need a different system to meet our needs?
- Do our employees feel prepared for the transition? How can we make them feel more prepared?
Of course, this is just a starting point. Many organizations find it easier to hire a third-party to conduct an independent assessment of their project and deliverables. This service is called independent verification and validation.
So, listen to your intuition, address red flags and mitigate risks. This is the formula for digital transformation success.
It is also a good formula for avoiding our Expert Witness team – as much as Richard would love to play golf with you, and as much as Bill would love treat you to some authentic Chinese food, they both would rather see your project succeed!