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How to avoid ERP implementation failure

Louie A
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Last updated on 28/06/2024

70% of all ERP projects fail. How can yours avoid the most common pitfalls?

Join this webinar with experienced ERP project manager Jens Lund Olesen, who will share his best practice approach to successful D365 implementations, including…

– The five primary reasons ERP projects fail.
– A comprehensive approach that integrates IT and business from initial requirements to D365 operations.
– How to take a process-centric approach through all project phases.

This webinar will provide you with inspiration and case studies to help you design an optimal D365 implementation process, ensuring it remains primarily a business-driven initiative.

Watch it now! Or read the main takeaways listed below ⬇️

Key Points and Takeaways from the Webinar:

  1. The “Iron Law” of Projects: All projects tend to be over budget, under benefits, and over time. This was highlighted using insights from a professor who analyzed 16,000 projects, revealing that IT projects fail the most significantly.
  2. Why ERP Projects are Particularly Risky: ERP projects are highly risky due to their complexity, rapid technological changes, and the intangible nature of IT solutions. This necessitates experienced project management and active user involvement to mitigate these risks.
  3. Why Gluu is the Ideal BPM Solution: Gluu was emphasized as an ideal BPM tool due to its user-centric approach, making processes tangible, and facilitating user involvement and understanding throughout the ERP implementation.
  4. What to Do in Every Implementation Phase:
    • Planning:
      • Spend ample time in this phase to understand and define processes, set realistic expectations, and involve the right stakeholders.
    • Analysis:
      • Utilize structured frameworks like APQC to map and analyze processes, ensuring they align with business needs.
    • Design and Development:
      • Translate analyzed processes into tangible workflows and prototypes, maintaining active user involvement.
    • Testing and Go-Live:
      • Conduct rigorous testing with user involvement to ensure the system’s functionality and acceptance.
    • Post-Go-Live:
      • Continuously adapt to new releases and maintain process relevance to ensure long-term success.
  5. The intangibility of IT Projects: Unlike physical projects, IT projects are intangible and hard for users to visualize and understand. This contributes significantly to the high failure rate of ERP implementations.
  6. Importance of Process Understanding: Effective communication and understanding of business processes are crucial. Focusing on processes rather than tools helps bridge the gap between technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  7. Experienced Project Management: Engaging experienced project managers, both from the customer and the partner sides, is vital. Internal project managers lacking IT project experience often contribute to failures.
  8. Collaboration and Team Building: Successful projects rely on strong collaboration and team dynamics rather than just technical expertise. A well-rounded team can overcome challenges more effectively.
  9. Controlled Flexibility: While flexibility is generally seen as positive, it can be detrimental in ERP projects. Sticking to proven models and minimizing changes ensures better adherence to timelines and budgets.
  10. Customization Overload: Over-customizing ERP systems, especially in a SaaS environment, can lead to increased complexity and maintenance issues. Keeping customizations to a minimum is recommended.
  11. Bias and Realistic Expectations: Managing optimism bias and setting realistic expectations is crucial. Understanding the true reasons behind the ERP implementation helps prioritize tasks and resources effectively.
  12. Plan Slow, Act Fast: Spending ample time in the planning phase to understand the scope and requirements thoroughly leads to quicker and more effective execution. This approach reduces risks and ensures alignment.
  13. Data-Driven Decision Making: Utilizing data models and structured process frameworks like APQC helps in breaking down complex tasks and maintaining control over the project scope and deliverables.
  14. Continuous Testing and Adaptation: Regular and rigorous testing throughout the implementation phase ensures that the system meets the desired requirements. Continuous adaptation to new releases and features maintains system relevance and functionality.
  15. User Involvement and Process Mapping: Involving end-users in process mapping and testing ensures that the ERP system aligns with actual business needs and workflows, leading to higher acceptance and usability.
  16. Simplicity and Focus: Simplifying processes and maintaining a clear focus on critical activities rather than getting lost in details prevents project derailment and ensures successful outcomes.

These takeaways highlight the importance of a structured, user-centric approach to ERP implementation, emphasizing process understanding, realistic planning, and continuous collaboration.

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