How Long Does It Take To Implement ERP?

Posted by Gerry Poe


The duration for ERP implementation is often based on unrealistic expectations.  The goal of ERP is to minimize business risk and maximize the benefits.  Unfortunately there are studies which show how 90% of projects do not finish within the expected time frame.

Vendors failing to help manage expectations during the sales and planning process leads to failure with projects over budget and not completed within the deadline.

A paradigm shift can empower a business:

ERP implentation is not about software.  The implentation of ERP is about maximizing the business.

What are the areas to pay attention to when planning and  implementing ERP software?  Avoiding project delays and overruns which happen from: 

  • Lack of resources
  • Lack of project support
  • Poor management of scope

Successful ERP implentation includes:

1.  Communications and Training

In reality, the process is more than about just training a team.  Instead the focus needs to be more on specific business processes, roles, and changes in the current processes vs. the future processes.  Before the formal training begins, communication with the employees needs to happen well in advance to remove potential anxiety and address questions.  Doing so ensures success with organizational change management but the questions need to be addressed well in advance of implementation.

2.  Understanding the full benefits.

High impact on performance in a positive manner is the primary reason a business chooses to implement ERP.  To ensure success and know absolutely the effectiveness of a new ERP solution, comparing the performance metrics prior to, during and after "going live" is an ongoing necessity.  Defining the performance metrics in advance vs. "estimates" provides a better understanding of the ROI and effectivenesss of ERP.  Since improvements may be gradual, tracking the trends in the first months after implementation gives operations opportunity to maximize the ERP system.

3.  Business Process Workflow Definition. 

The specific processes and requirements of the business must be kept in mind.  How the software might work "out-of-the-box" needs to be set aside.

4.  Testing the Processes:

Testing the business processes and clearly defining them in the new environment is a key element to successful implementation.  It is not enough to test simply the technical aspects and do a detail review of the data.  Software testing is a first step but budgeting time to test the business processes brings to light those issues which increase the risk of business interruptions. 

Scheduling time in an ERP project plan allows a business to overcome obstacles to success.  Overcoming the obstacles and asking the right questions is the best step towards estimating how long it takes to implement ERP.

If you are interested in a complete list of questions to ask before buying a software. Download the whitepaper: 

Questions to ask before buying ERP software

enterprise resource planning erp solutions checklist2

Tags: ERP, ERP Software, Enterprise Resource Planning Software

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