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ERP Implementation Project Rescue

Is your ERP Project proceeding as planned?

When Enterprise Resource Planning implementation projects first begin, it means the long purchasing cycle has finally ended. All those surveys, quotes, demonstrations, and evaluations are concluded. Everyone has their own idea of how great it will be to finally have a modern system. Upper management expresses their commitment to eliminate any barriers that may present themselves. There is usually a “kickoff” meeting, where estimated hours are revealed, and the timeframe is outlined.

Unfortunately, reality soon creeps in. According to a study carried out by the Gartner Group, 75 % of all ERP projects fail to be fully implemented even after three years. Many are not even “live” after that amount of time. There are many causes for this to be true.

Keeping track of the project through active Project Management is crucial. Unfortunately, many ERP implementation projects fail, or take much longer than budgeted for, because companies sometimes believe they can supervise the vendor’s implementation staff without the assistance of an outside consulting project manager. For many reasons, that is seldom the case. ITurnITy ERP Consultants can manage the project and get it on track

Warning Signs of an ERP Project in Need of Rescue

From a helicopter view, there are only a few factors one needs to keep track of to produce a successful ERP implementation. They are functionality, resources, and schedule. If one is watching those factors carefully from a ground view, warning signs often appear. Effective Project Managers recognize the signs of failing projects and address the root causes. There are always underlying issues.

If your project has problems, it could very well be in need of rescue. Once it is realized that the ERP project is at risk of failing, we must develop a plan to get back on track. The normal tendency is to continue, and hope that the project issues will somehow resolve themselves – often while looking for whom to blame.

Assuming the hardware and software are a reasonable fit for the business, ITurnITy Consulting will perform a focused assessment. A rescue plan can then be created if the project is believed to be worthy of saving. It is at this point that bringing in an unbiased outside resource can be of most value. It is important to realize that the same forces impeding progress will also cause an assessment to fail. Let’s interrupt the project and evaluate the situation.

The Assessment

Prioritization, organization, sorting, and allocation for the project must be conducted by an independent and objective outsider. Internal resources have been at it for a long time, and have proven to be inadequate. Ordering them to do better is highly unlikely to succeed. ITurnITy Consulting will swiftly amass and analyze the facts and the situation, and proffer a recommended course of action to upper management. The rescue package will be based on the input and requirements of the various business units. It must be comprehensive, and consider the culture of the company. An evaluation of the original project critical success factors, as well as any business change since the original project launch must all be factored in to this assessment.

Since ITurnITy Consulting will be new to the situation (a good thing), a new assessment of how the software needs to be adapted to suit the business is in order. Since a great deal of time has already been expended on the new system, and everyone is much more familiar with it, the new assessment will occur much more quickly than the original one.

We’ll also need to examine the financial situation, and perform a re-budgeting of the project. The investment already committed, wisely or not, is in the past.

The Rescue

It is now time to create a Rescue Plan. Based on our assessment, we will “reassemble” the manner in which the project will be managed. It is highly important for all concerned to witness the quick, successful resolution of issues, especially at the beginning of the rescue. We make sure that everyone, for the first few weeks at least, plans on working as late as necessary. Nothing propagates success like success. This includes upper management whose quick decisions will be vital to the endeavor. There is not one checklist of items which will insure success. The approach will depend and vary based on personal experience and observations of the Rescue project manager. Your Rescue Project Manager must have the authority to make and enforce critical project decisions.

Conclusion

The vast majority of Enterprise Resource Planning projects in need of rescue can be turned around quickly, if the project team will permit it. If everyone understands that we are not looking to point fingers, and are moving forward from today, some of the issues will resolve themselves. Assuming the hardware and software are appropriate for the business, and we have the cooperation of everyone, the project can’t help but succeed. ITurnITy gets you back on Track again!

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