The Seven Deadly Sins have been used as guidelines to caution humanity against its inclination to do wrong. Unfortunately, the same guidelines seem non-existent when organizations experience the stress of selecting and implementing a new ERP solution.
How can an organization avoid ‘committing ERP sins’? Companies can utilize these guidelines to avoid common pitfalls and to ensure success:
- Lust & Envy – desiring what other companies have. A common question company executives ask when selecting an ERP is, “What are leading companies using?” While this information can be used to help short-list alternatives, it should not drive the final answer. Many E&P companies jumped on the SAP R3 (now ECC) band-wagon, following what the major integrated oil and gas companies implemented. Eight of ten mid-sized E&P companies surveyed regretted the decision. SAP ECC is designed for large, complex organizations. Other cost effective fit-for-purpose solutions could have been selected and implemented to support critical requirements. These organizations paid the price for falling under the spell of Lust & Envy.
- Gluttony & Greed – wanting the ERP to do too much. ERP systems have been developed to provide functionality supporting a broad range of processes. Companies can get distracted with non-business critical functionality during the evaluation process. ERP vendors often demonstrate intricate dashboards with flashy bar charts of non-relevant KPI’s. The time used to display colorful charts should have been invested demonstrating how the system supports business critical needs. Companies should spend more time focusing on what is important as opposed to the ‘glitz and glamor’ of the ERP solution. Companies lose site of the critical objectives because of Gluttony & Greed.
- Sloth – lacking participation. Invariably following selection, someone declares, “Wait, what about my requirements?!” Successful organizations ensure participation by communicating project objectives and expectations upfront. Surveys show that ERP teams who communicate beyond the ‘what’ and share ‘why’ the company is going through ERP selection garner 80% more engagement from stakeholders. By empowering the organization’s staff to define the company’s future state, the company encourages stakeholders to view the ERP as an opportunity for improvement as opposed to a burden. Involvement and engagement take the place of Sloth.
- Wrath & Pride – resisting change. Companies are often eager to share a laundry list of pain points with the current system, yet cling to the same system to avoid change. Over the years, employees invent complex manual work-around processes, and often become stubborn and prideful when asked to change behaviors and consider alternatives. Successful ERP project teams understand the importance of change management in achieving project objectives. They bridge the gap between current and future state and effectively drive change to ensure ERP success.
Trenegy helps companies successfully select the right ERP by avoiding the common pitfalls of ERP selection. For more information on how to prepare for ERP implementation read “Preparing for ERP Implementation…. Reducing the Pain!”