Implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is often difficult, time-consuming and overwhelming if it’s your first experience. In this article, we will cover essential aspects that you should be aware of during your first digital transformation journey.
An interesting observation that we made with our clients is that many project management team members and business leaders lack prior experience in ERP implementations. They may only encounter such projects once or twice in their careers, if at all. Therefore, today, we aim to share the information you need to know to effectively embark on this journey.
Manage Stakeholder Expectations.
Often third parties may present a vision that is unrealistic and impractical. Your organisations may not fully understand the challenges of ERP implementations. It is critical that your project management team members learn to manage internal expectations.
When evaluating proposals from vendors or partners, it is imperative to approach everything with a critical mindset and ask tough questions. It is essential to understand what it takes for the implementation to be successful.
Seeking assistance and insight from independent benchmarks and resources will be beneficial to your team. Helping them develop a realistic plan and strategy and avoid disappointing business stakeholders.
Establish Program Management
When undertaking an ERP implementation, it is important to establish an internal program management function. Although, your software vendor or partner may have a project manager assigned to your implementation. You need to set up a program and project manager within your organisation. Your internal team must take ownership and live with the outcomes of the implementation.
Creating an internal Project Management Office (PMO) will manage external parties and ensure that the project remains on track and is aligned with the goals and objectives of your business. Your organization, third-party software vendors and technical consultants may have conflicting priorities.
Therefore, having a dedicated program management function will help align all parties involved in the project effectively.
Focus on Change Management
The human component of implementation. This is where change management lies. Your project management team will need to develop a clear change strategy and a comprehensive change management plan to tackle the work-stream within your organisation.
A common case of failure for ERP implementations is the lack of alignment. Internally. Some members of your organisation may not be on the same page regarding the goals of this implementation. This can jeopardize your overall success. The members of your project team need to facilitate internal alignment.
In other cases, organisations are excited by new technology and rush into an implementation without proper alignment. This can lead to long-term problems. Taking a step back, slowing down, and focusing on alignment will save time in the long run. It ensures everyone is on the same page and provides a clear sense of purpose. Allowing you to speed up the process later on and saving exponentially more time.
Listen to the Business
The most critical step to ensure the success of your first ERP implementation is actively listening to and understanding the business. You need to comprehend the business’ operational needs and current state. Understanding how things currently work, why they operate that way, identifying pain points, and recognizing opportunities for improvement during the implementation process is vital.
Additionally, you must be conscious of internal sources of opposition and be alert to objections or push-backs. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the organization and comprehend its operational and business requirements. By doing this, you escape the trap of merely implementing new technology without taking into account the context of the organization.
Your business and technology must work smoothly together, and this can only be done by actively listening to and comprehending the needs of the business. You can effectively bridge the gap between technological goals and corporate objectives with the aid of this strategy.
We hope you found this article insightful and informative. If you’re looking for a comprehensive solution to drive growth, innovation, and efficiency, Microsoft Dynamics 365 might just be the answer to your business needs. Get in touch with us and our experts will give you the guidance and support you need to embark on this journey.
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