Fail - Fail Hard
Executives considering ERP investments should begin by considering failing. Failing hard, with disastrous consequences to operations, reporting and worse still, customer relations. Start thinking about the risk from as many dimensions as possible before you let a software salesman in your door, or have your head of sales talk about a new CRM or CPQ system. It could save your job and your company. Sound dire for Trusted Advisor Article on a software solution provider website? We have seen it.
ERP implementations are risky, wonder why? Plug ERP risks, failures or any combination of implementation failure into your internet browser, and you will find many articles, top five, ten and twenty lists and many stories highlighting the difficulty that change in the magnitude of CRM/ERP represents. Failure stories of big sophisticated companies that know how to manage stuff, right?
We fix a lot of implementations, including multiple clean-up projects that have kicked off in the last month alone. Our team has seen a lot, from DIY disasters to unprepared third-party consultants, and even executives whose vision was doomed from the beginning. We thought it would be interesting to poll our team, arguably the best NetSuite Professional Services team in North America, to find out what drives the most significant implementation risks. Here are the top results:
- Inability to define or maintain a scope, consequently changing requirements on the fly
- Lack of participation and availability of critical stakeholders or process owners
- Executives that assume they know what people do, not trusting in the guidance of an experienced, competent consultant
- Overall lack of project planning, communication, and resourcing in general
In the planning phase, it is critical to stand up an internal team of your top leaders and stakeholders who will dedicate all of their time substantially to the project. Some might pushback on the criticality of these resources to the business, but what better way to evaluate the next-in-line for each of these roles.
Just Another Failure Statistic
Also, of equal importance, does a potential outside Consultant have the expertise and resources to complete your project successfully? Have they sufficiently scoped your requirements for functionality, integration and data migration? What about test and training? One of the things you will read about is Big Consultants piling on resources as timeframes get short, and still other consultancies that merely overpromise and underdeliver.
User Acceptance and Regression testing seem like other apparent areas to apply much attention to, but close attention must be paid to two things that can go wrong here:
- Your users don’t get what they expected, and you have slow adoption or revolt.
- Business processes intended to integrate do not, or cannot handle the actual volume of transactions that are required for your business.
You will be faced with the decision to replace your current business management systems at some point or risk sure competitive decline. Confronting the challenges posed by an ERP implementation and large-scale change head-on, and resourcing accordingly will be the difference between achieving your goals or becoming another failure statistic.
With 20 years of combined experience, 35+ certifications across all areas of NetSuite, and agile methodologies that can support as swift or methodical an implementation needed, NXTurn is poised and ready to support your ERP Project.
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