We occasionally like to share tips from others like the folks at Panorama Consulting that we feel support our own best practices advice when it comes to implementing complex business software systems, like the “5 Tips” they recently shared here.
Panorama’s tips included these…
- Educate yourself on ERP software best practices. As they wisely note: “The most dangerous implementations are led by those that aren’t well educated on the risks, challenges, and best practices associated with an ERP implementation.” While Panorama uses this one to promote its webinars (and we might do the same by searching on “ERP implementation” at our own blog), the fact is, there is a lot of information out there on best practices. But just as importantly, many modern software options today embed those best practices within their workflows. The point is, work with your ERP consultant to determine where your current workflows can be improved and map those efforts to your new software selection choices.
- Control the tempo of your initiatives. Having a solid plan in place is more important than the understandable urge just to “get something done,” notes the post’s author. You need the right resources in place, a realistic timeline, a clearly defined project lead, as well as project controls and benchmarks. Believe it or not, slow and steady, even if it takes longer, will actually save you money in the long run.
- Invest in the people side of your digital strategy. The number one cause of software project failure? Not technology. It’s people. The right people in the right place, with an understanding of how organizational change management is an integral part of the ERP solution. Training… communications… strategic planning… they are all critical, and they all start with people.
- Take industry hype with a grain of salt. There’s a lot of marketing, advertising, shilling and hype out there. Choose wisely. Everyone has a bias. ERP solutions are not a silver bullet, and contrary to what many will tell you, they are not quickly implemented – at least not in any truly meaningful, business-transforming sense. And if you’re not out to further the cause of your business’ growth and transformation, then why proceed in the first place? Don’t believe the hype, do your own homework, and most of all, find someone you can trust. It will be a long relationship.
- Don’t be afraid to leverage outside ERP consultants. Here, outfits like Panorama hype their “independence” (they don’t sell solutions), and that makes sense. But a great many providers (yes, like us) offer more than one solution, and it’s in our business’ best interests to be objective and truthful. That’s even true of those who sell only a single solution, though their options may be more limited. Your initial analysis can be done either with, or without, bias. Both have advantages. Talk to your consultants and trust your gut. Find the solution approach and implementation methodology that you believe in your heart will work best for you.