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Not every digital transformation or ERP implementation is successful. Despite you and your team’s best efforts, yours may be struggling too.

It is important to accept the situation for what it is. You’re not alone. Just as importantly, there are things you can do to remediate your project and get it back on track. By accepting that things could be better, you are taking an important first step to recovery.

Once you have reached the acceptance stage, here are five steps you can and should follow to get your project back on track:

1. Assess the damage. Step one is to determine where exactly the project stands. CIOs, project managers and project teams can be overwhelmed with all the moving parts and accumulating project costs, so it is important to get an objective assessment of your project. Independent ERP consultants like Panorama can perform a project assessment, benchmark where you are versus where you should be, and provide low-hanging recommendations to get your project back on track.

2. Back up and focus on the people and the process side of your equation. In most cases, the assessment performed in step #1 will entail some sort of refocus of your project on organizational change management and/or business process management. Too often, projects get bogged down in the technology side of things, but the real opportunities to get your project on track reside in the people and the process side of the equation. Carving out some time to set technology aside and instead focus on more thoroughly defining business processes and addressing organizational resistance will often yield an exponential return on your investment.

3. Consider your alternatives. Many project teams feel trapped once the project begins. In other words, they feel as though they must keep marching down the single path that they’ve started on. In reality, companies have several different “off-ramps” to get the project back on track. For example, is the original scope you had in mind appropriate for this phase of the project, given what you know now? Are there ways to make your project more manageable? Do you have the right internal and external team members? Is your system integrator the right one? Answers to these and a plethora of other questions will often lead you toward several viable alternatives that you may not have considered.

4. Examine lower-cost and lower-risk options to your current project. Like step #3, you may also want to consider other ways to accomplish your end goal – without the pain, risk and costs that you are currently experiencing. If you’ve followed step #1 properly, the answer to this question will often become obvious. For example, you may find that current tweaks to your current systems and business processes will yield similar expected business benefits without the cost and risks you are incurring now.

5. When everything else fails, pause or cancel the project. As much as it may pain you to admit it, perhaps it’s time to pause or cancel the project. If you don’t have the appropriate resources, budget, executive support and other critical success factors, then this may be a less painful option. And if things get particularly tough, you can also hire an ERP expert witness to help identify potential legal options that you have. No matter what, it’s important to recognize when the time is right to pull the ripcord on the project.

If your project is in trouble, these five steps will help you get your project on track. Panorama has a robust project assessment and project recovery methodology that can help you get started, so feel free to reach out to me to learn more.

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