Some say that ERP will solve all your problems. A deus-ex-machina which takes you to the promised land and brings you years of prosperity and bliss. Reduced operating costs and administrative overhead, improved inventory, higher customer retention, better profitability. It will streamline, improve, integrate, leverage, increase all your good things, and reduce, decrease, eliminate all your bad things.
You don’t buy it, do you?
ERP may help you solve your problems. Eventually.
First thing it will do, though, is—expose them. The question is… are you ready to face them?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Swallowing it all at once might be tempting as it has all the potential you need to get into the next edition of Guinness World Records. Likewise, trying it with an ERP implementation has all the potential you need to get into to the next edition of Chaos Report. One way or the other.
ERP software is huge. It contains thousands of features potentially touching every single tiniest aspect of your business. Implementing ERP is about introducing change into your company, and change can be evolutionary, or revolutionary. Your pick.
Prescriptive methodologies, such as Sure Step, are double-edged swords. They are aimed at increasing repeatability, consistency, traceability, manageability and more of your projects, yet they seemingly increase overhead and contribute to an inflated project price tag.
As a result, companies sometimes offer excuses such as: it would be too expensive for the customer, or we would lose the project to the competitor, because our price would be too high.
In my opinion, this kind of reasoning is just wrong.
For a long time, the ruler of project reports was Standish Group’s (in)famous Chaos report, which analyzed IT project success/failure factors. While many of the Chaos report’s findings applied to ERP implementation, the report as a whole was primarily about software development projects. And as we all know, implementing ERP is not the same thing as software development. Hopefully.
Panorama Consulting Group, an independent ERP consulting firm from Denver, Colorado, has conducted a market research in 2008, that explains ERP implementation project success factors and reveals some interesting metrics about real ERP costs, duration and benefits. Finally, we have a decent ERP project report, which reveals some important facts about Microsoft Dynamics.