3 Saviors of Your Failing ERP Project
The number one, most important key player in preventing ERP failure is actually a group. But without their buy-in, your entire ERP project will not succeed. Your vice president who wants a simple KPI dashboard that is updated in real time is a user. Your department manager who wants to analyze the performance of their particular domain is a user. Your buyer who wants to manage a purchase order and ensure it gets delivered when and where needed is a user. Your production worker who looks for a simple way to log time on a job and an operation without leaving their workspace and then wants to know the best job to work on next is a user.
ERP is an enterprise tool and if you deliver value to each and every user, your project will be saved and thoughts of ERP failure will become distant memories.
Getting Back on Course
The second savior of your ERP project is the executive champion. They are probably a vice president but could be a director-level person too. They have the eyes and ears of the executive staff. This person will sit on the steering committee and will watch over the overall project and help keep it moving toward completion on time and on budget. ERP projects go off track when top management chooses to move the focus toward another objective. That new product or the new category of customer is surely important. But your executive champion must ensure that the ERP project keeps enough resources and attention or it will drift toward ERP failure.
Your third savior is the ERP project manager. This is the one who will coordinate all the resources internally and externally. This person will track the timeline and all the milestones along the way. This one will push, pull, cajole, whine, and crack the whip as needed all through the project. Who watches the ERP budget? The project manager.
Why is the project manager third when it seems like they have to lead the ERP implementation? Because they can be changed if needed during the project and still the organization can succeed. Executives don’t turn over as quickly as managers and the chance of recruiting a new executive champion after a project begins is low.
If it looks like your ERP project is off course take a look if you are utilizing your three saviors. Get that project back on course while you can. Get it done on time and on budget.
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