Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Insights

What is our ERP strategy and what does ERP mean to us?

Do we go with one ERP provider or multiple?

How do we determine when to go to the Cloud or implement on premises?

Do we go with one ERP provider or multiple?

What resources do we need to be successful?

Should we even take on an ERP project?

These are just a few of the basic questions to be answered before starting a ERP project? ERP projects are not for the faint of heart! These projects run over multiple years, cost millions of dollars, are rarely on time and on budget and drain precious organization resources.

When developing an ERP implementation, there are many factors to take into consideration about an ERP project. Three pillars are particularly important: Strategy, process and communications.


STRATEGY: Organizations need to realize the scope of the project and how an ERP implementation can affect their company, both positively and negatively. Much consideration is needed to make the decision on whether to take on an ERP project. A rigid analysis process must be in place to ensure emotion is taken out of the decision and all perspectives are encompassed.

Define the problem that the company needs to solve, is there another way to do so?

Should we leverage one vendor or look at several vendors and integrate?

Do we do a big bang implementation or implement modules across multiple projects?

Do we outsource the implementation team and PMO?

Resource management

Do we pull people out of their current roles and focus on the ERP project?

What other projects are these resources scheduled to work on the in the future?

This is a small footprint of the questions to answer as part of consideration for embarking on an ERP project.

PROCESS: There are multiple processes that need to be part of the implementation of an ERP system. Most of the time, companies think about the basic project management process of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. Many more types of processes are involved in and ERP process such as business processes, organization change management, training and post go-live impact analysis to list a few.

All too often organizations underestimate what an ERP implementation is going to take from the cost, resource and time perspectives resulting in cost and time overruns and unhappy employees.

The project team must set realistic goals of process definition, software selection, process improvement and organizational change management.

It is best to perform business process re-engineering prior to starting the project instead of making it part of the project as these efforts slow down the ERP implementation. Do we adopt a Software as a Service (SaaS) approach and leverage the system’s best business process practices?

What happens to the people doing the business functions today?

These are a few of the process framework items that needs to be considered before selecting the ERP partner(s).

COMMUNICATIONS: Never underestimate the power of communications in an ERP project. In the absence of information, human beings tend to make up the worst scenarios. Transparency, no matter what the message, is the best approach for ERP projects.

An ERP strategy is not just an IT project, it is rather a companywide initiative and getting executive sponsorship as well as sponsorship from all across functional areas will drive the success of it.

Establish weekly or monthly forums to reinforce the goals of the project to employees.

Embrace feedback from the functional areas on their perspectives of the project and incorporate that into the communications.

Communications is one area that can derail even the most effectively run projects. You can never over communicate!

Algro can help you with your ERP strategy by providing executive expertise on your ERP approach and avoid the normal ERP pitfalls.