Applying Leading Practice to Your Next ERP Implementation

If there is one thing that The Beckhard and Harris’ Change Equation teaches us is that we need a fully aligned project team to execute strategic projects. Looking at the diagram below, it is easy to see that without key elements, we’re destined for a path of failure.

ERP Implementation Success Chart

Vision and executive support

So, what’s the correlation to an ERP implementation? The diagram shows that the outcome will be confusion if there is no vision.  While vision is vital, team alignment is more crucial. An aligned team will deliver faster results and with better quality than a team who are not aligned.

To facilitate vision, communication is key. Sharing the vision with the project team and wider business allows for synchronisation. It is also helps to relieve confusion.

Vision and support comes from the client management team but also from the implementation team’s project managers, solution architects, consultants and technical teams. This is why it is important to select a partner you can rely on to drive the project vision to completeness.

Skills and education

Lack of skills and education leads to anxiety. In an ERP project this can be particularly challenging. People are typically nervous about bringing in new systems. Early education at the start of the project and taking time to introduce Infor M3 to the team to show its out-of-the-box capabilities can be helpful. Education needs to be framed correctly as users won’t be looking at real data or final setup, but it does help to get familiar with the system. Tools like Infor’s Implementation Accelerators are fantastic at helping users understand the power of M3.

Incentives and Measurements

Measurements can be a critical component to project success, but incentives can have the opposite effect if not handled properly. A downside to incentives is that it can result in a competitive climate or demotivate team members when people are pitted against one another.  Collaboration is a key to project success. Group and team incentives can drive a project forward but individual incentives should be avoided where possible. Measurements against deliverables are of course vital and should be monitored at all stages.

Resources and champions

All projects need the drive to succeed. It’s common to underestimate how much key resources are required on the project. Key users, process leads, and SMEs should be full time to the project, at least throughout the design and discovery and testing / training phases. Make sure your implementation partner illustrates how the project will be fully resourced before engaging, including allocation for technical and functional areas, so you are assured that resources are assigned to the right phase of the project.

Action Plan

An action plan is more than a Gantt Chart. It is a combination of everything outlined above. The action plan should be something everyone is able to understand. Without appropriate communication, the drive to succeed, technical and functional skills, and knowledge and experience, the project will struggle. Fact-based decision-making and applying best practices to your project implementation can accelerate time to value and help realise faster ROI from technology investments. Getting ERP implementation right from day one makes it easier to transition to a new system. Want to learn more about our excellent track record in helping our clients achieve a smooth programme? Get in touch!

Paul Cornhill is a Project Manager at Avaap UK.  He has 20+ years of experience implementing enterprise business software, including Infor M3, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and IBM.  He has worked in the Fashion, Healthcare, Banking, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Retail sectors.

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If there is one thing that The Beckhard and Harris’ Change Equation teaches us is that we need a fully aligned project team to execute strategic projects. Looking at the diagram below, it is easy to see that without key elements, we’re destined for a path of failure.

ERP Implementation Success Chart

Vision and executive support

So, what’s the correlation to an ERP implementation? The diagram shows that the outcome will be confusion if there is no vision.  While vision is vital, team alignment is more crucial. An aligned team will deliver faster results and with better quality than a team who are not aligned.

To facilitate vision, communication is key. Sharing the vision with the project team and wider business allows for synchronisation. It is also helps to relieve confusion.

Vision and support comes from the client management team but also from the implementation team’s project managers, solution architects, consultants and technical teams. This is why it is important to select a partner you can rely on to drive the project vision to completeness.

Skills and education

Lack of skills and education leads to anxiety. In an ERP project this can be particularly challenging. People are typically nervous about bringing in new systems. Early education at the start of the project and taking time to introduce Infor M3 to the team to show its out-of-the-box capabilities can be helpful. Education needs to be framed correctly as users won’t be looking at real data or final setup, but it does help to get familiar with the system. Tools like Infor’s Implementation Accelerators are fantastic at helping users understand the power of M3.

Incentives and Measurements

Measurements can be a critical component to project success, but incentives can have the opposite effect if not handled properly. A downside to incentives is that it can result in a competitive climate or demotivate team members when people are pitted against one another.  Collaboration is a key to project success. Group and team incentives can drive a project forward but individual incentives should be avoided where possible. Measurements against deliverables are of course vital and should be monitored at all stages.

Resources and champions

All projects need the drive to succeed. It’s common to underestimate how much key resources are required on the project. Key users, process leads, and SMEs should be full time to the project, at least throughout the design and discovery and testing / training phases. Make sure your implementation partner illustrates how the project will be fully resourced before engaging, including allocation for technical and functional areas, so you are assured that resources are assigned to the right phase of the project.

Action Plan

An action plan is more than a Gantt Chart. It is a combination of everything outlined above. The action plan should be something everyone is able to understand. Without appropriate communication, the drive to succeed, technical and functional skills, and knowledge and experience, the project will struggle. Fact-based decision-making and applying best practices to your project implementation can accelerate time to value and help realise faster ROI from technology investments. Getting ERP implementation right from day one makes it easier to transition to a new system. Want to learn more about our excellent track record in helping our clients achieve a smooth programme? Get in touch!

Paul Cornhill is a Project Manager at Avaap UK.  He has 20+ years of experience implementing enterprise business software, including Infor M3, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle and IBM.  He has worked in the Fashion, Healthcare, Banking, Oil and Gas, Manufacturing, Distribution, and Retail sectors.