“Their step by step program for a successful ERP selection/implementation sure looked great on paper. We already missed the first few deadlines. You think there’s any way we can get back on track and finish on time?” Probably not. Regardless of the continued encouragement from the vendor/implementer/consultant, failure is a habit and once the progression of failure starts, it’s nearly impossible to reverse.

“Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

-Vince Lombardi.

Whether you do the selection/implementation with only inside resources or hire out, there are only a few reasons these project go awry:

  • Too much was missed up front regarding needed requirements.
  • Dissension on the team – putting individual needs in front of company needs.
  • Lack of time, money and/or effort by team member(s).

The 3 measurements of failure are time, money or requirements. Do those 3 look familiar here? In reality, an outside service assisting with this project can only directly affect one of the three and that’s the requirements. “Directly affect” is the key term because good leadership, using inside or outside resources, can have a dramatic effect on the other two.

Yes, a sound program is critical to a selection/implementation but in the end, people are going to make the difference. Whether inside or outside expertise is used, defining the process requirements up front is the foundation that the entire selection/implementation is built.

  • People need to understand the existing process and WHY it is what it is.
  • People need to open their minds to the possibility of improving existing processes and work with a good change management concept on WHY things need changing.
  • People must have the drive and desire to create an environment where everyone can have a better quality of life and WHY that is the most important aspect of any change.

Change begins with the question WHY, and people are the single most important force behind change. As I mentioned in another post, a good step by step program is important, but without a good foundation, you’ll be in your own 12 step program of recovery trying to figure out why things are failing.

Next time, let’s explore why, in the end, you are the most important resource in the selection/implementation.

Categories: ERP

Clark Green

Clark brings a deep level of experience with ERP companies to KnowledgePath Consulting. He has strong leadership skills, and demonstrated success in manufacturing, supply chain, business unit, and operations performance in multiple industries.