As a customer, are your prepared for Software implementation success?
Complexity put simply; for a successful ERP implementation, you ultimately need three ingredients: a great software solution, a great implementation partner and a great customer.
The software you are about to select has hundreds or even thousands of customers and is tested every day. Your implementation partner of choice has done hundreds or sometimes even thousands of implementations, as its their core business. And then you remain as a customer.
So how well prepared are you for project success?
It might not be a nice thing to say; you may not want to hear this at all, but the customer is frequently the least practiced link in the chain of success, yet its most critical component. Statistically, most organisations in the Western world implement new ERP software every 8 to 10 years. And over 90 percent of all the people responsible for selecting, contracting and implementing at the customer side do this once or at most twice in their lives.
So even though you can buy the software and the implementation services, achieving software implementation success or transforming your business requires preparation, and you cannot outsource that.
Here are some suggestions to be completely prepared for success:
- Don’t just focus on the software, but also look carefully at the desired business processes, culture and the position of the company
- Make sure that the board understands the need for achieving project success
- Ensure that all of the team understands the ‘why’ of this project
- Secure yourself the buy-in of the informal leaders in your organisation
- Link the project to your strategic business goals and define what you want to achieve
- Learn about the success and failure factors of comparable projects
- Understand what activities you can expect from your implementation partner and what your own tasks are
- Prepare yourself and your management team thoroughly to perform these tasks
- Make sure that you select one of your management team members as the formal project sponsor
Admittedly, good preparation requires time, money and focus. Please realise that insufficient preparation will cost you even more time, money and focus as you progress further into the project. This will often come on top of the damage that your company will suffer in terms of image loss, deteriorated customer relationships and potential loss of loyal employees.
All things considered, reserving time for a thorough preparation is without a doubt the most cost and time-effective choice.