Much has been written about the many failures of ERP over the years. We read that the many causes are indicative of change management, training, and executive sponsorship. These days, most organizations go through a rigorous selection process to match the key business requirements against the various software solutions. The software companies spend lots of time demonstrating the various scenarios in order to prove that the software fits. The overall software selection can take months to complete. How much time will be spent in vetting out the implementation firm that will actually deploy the solution? I often see this aspect overlooked.
I have often been brought into situations where the organization believes that they made the wrong choice in the software selection. They tell me that the project has failed; the application will not work, there are too many gaps, etc. When I start asking them questions about where they are in the process and how are they comparing to the plan, they get quiet.
Good implementation firms should do a number of things for you. They will spend a fair amount of time up front planning the various work streams to achieve a successful deployment. They plan the plan and then they work the plan. They will also walk the client teams through continuous application education and knowledge transfer.
Successful projects require experience; experience with the application and experience with your business processes in your industry. If you are not being guided through this process by consultants with the domain knowledge that you need, it is probably time to start looking for another implementation firm before throwing out the ERP software application.
Chris K. Jones
Vice-President, Consulting Service