If the check oil light comes on and your engine is running louder than normal, it’s probably time to stop and check your oil. Ignoring these warning signs can lead to costly repairs for a seized engine. The same is true during ERP system implementation. The popular Tier 2 implementation method uses the ‘homework model,’ an assignment-driven implementation task list to complete Go-Live preparation. This model proves challenging for companies and often leads to costly overruns as overworked employees do not complete assignments given by the systems integrator.
ERP implementation teams often fail to identify the warning signs of a failed ‘homework model’:
- Confusion. An unclear vision for moving from current to future state creates confusion. Employees are primarily concerned with their area of responsibility and ignore assignments that require coordination across multiple functions, from operations to back office leading to incomplete and inaccurate data. The calendar of homework assignments is not to be confused with a project plan. A detailed vision and work-plan provides clarity and ensures a comprehensive approach.
- Missed Milestones. Internal resources are often dedicated to implementation efforts on a part-time basis. The resources are forced to split priorities between fulfilling the expectations of primary job responsibilities and completing project ‘homework assignments.’ Strained employees cause missed meetings and critical assignments that may delay Go-Live. Employees feel frustrated and over-worked as they essentially have two roles and two direct reports during implementation. Dedicating full-time internal resources with a comprehensive project understanding can bridge potential knowledge gaps and reduce the need to scramble as Go-Live approaches.
- Lack of Ownership. Without clearly assigned project roles and responsibilities, accountability is low and critical tasks fall between the cracks. An inability to answer basic project questions is a telling sign that employee ownership is low. This gap may arise due to overconfidence with the system integrators’ ability. There is no alternative for an internal project governance model that provides vision and delegation of responsibilities.
Trenegy helps companies successfully implement ERP systems using the homework model. For more on how to avoid the pitfalls of a failed homework model, read The Dog Ate My Homework… Completing Critical ERP Tasks.