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Any experience in implementing ERP?

Implement an ERP System …. and make it work – needs experience

Very often, strategic analyses show a strategy that is most likely to lead to a better business performance. What has to be done, and what will be the outcome, is quite obvious to analysts. However, members of the organisation might not agree or, for any reason, show resistance to the planned changes. Take, for example, the implementation of company wide software platforms that facilitates management of business processes. There are hundred of examples where such projects have faced severe problems during the implementation phase. A case study published in CIO shows how Nestlé has learned this the hard way.

„If Dunn were to do it over again, she’d focus first on changing business processes and achieving universal buy-in, and then and only then on installing the software. „If you try to do it with a system first, you will have an installation, not an implementation,“ she says. „And there is a big difference between installing software and implementing a solution.“

ERP projects are notorious for taking a long time and a lot of money. Jennifer Chew, Forrester Research, found that 54 percent said that their project lasted more than two years . Nestlé USA’s project „sounds on the high side“ for both time and money. Still, success is ultimately measured by what the project accomplishes. Chew points out that Kmart had to write off $130 million for an ERP project that was never completed.

Celemi, the swedish learning company,  has put all the knowledge what will and might happen in such an IT-implementation-phase into a hands-on simulation. You go through the project and you get all the resistance, ignorance, late buy-in, to late requirements …. and need to deal with it. The challenge is: Make it work and get the business value.

Advice for companies: Make your team of IT sensitive what will happen, so they can prepare. „The first time they never believe that this is going to happen, but I know too many ERP-people who said all the 100 cases discribed in the simulation happened in my project.“ So – why not investing a day of sensitivity training and avoid three terrible weeks of rework? Try the business simulation Cayenne – before your projects gets hot. This is risk avoidance by knowledge.
Claudia Schmitz, Cenandu

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