Learning From Past ERP Failures

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Posted by: briansittley Comments: 0 0 Post Date: October 15, 2015

failureConsultants at Panorama Solutions, an ERP provider, remind us that past failures do not have to doom future ERP projects in a post found here.
They give four tips for learning from our mistakes, noted herein:

  1. Inventory your lessons learned. Most failed ERP implementations contain rich lessons.  It’s important to catalog these and leverage lessons learned to improve future efforts.  Be sure to do so collaboratively.  You no doubt already know the couple of key things that went wrong.  Admit them.  Discuss them thoroughly, with the full team.  Resolve them.  Learn from them.  Then move on.
  2. Identify the things that you didn’t have a chance to learn. You may find that you didn’t pay enough attention to user training, or to getting team buy-in.  Perhaps not enough attention was paid to organizational change management, or to identifying proper process improvements before you started implementing.  Whatever the case, communication here is key.  And you must identify the true ‘root’ causes of issues, Panorama notes, rather than keying in on the various symptoms.
  3. Augment your own lessons learned with best practices and lessons from others. Over many years, we’ve seen our share of projects successes and project failures.  A single failure will not make your team experts overnight, so leverage “best practices, research and lessons from others as a way to augment your own lessons learned,” notes Panorama – and we couldn’t agree more.
  4. Don’t forget to focus on the positive. Sure, there are things you could have done better.  But there are also probably a few things that went well.  Recognize those small successes, and use them as stepping stones in your new implementation. For example, you may have designed your future processes well but encountered organizational resistance.  This helps tell you where you need to focus the next time – and helps distinguish between what you did right and what you did wrong.  That’s a very good place to start.

Don’t let past failures scare you.  Leverage the appropriate lessons and move forward.  Accept the failures and build your future on the back of that.  You’ll be that much smarter the next time around.

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