Despite clearly defined project objectives and proven implementation methodologies, project creep remains rife, adding cost and risk to critical ERP developments. Julie Bruce, Sage ERP X3 Product Champion at CPiO outlines her tips for ensuring projects stay on track and realise benefits.
1. Prioritise business objectives, not technology: In an era of amazing technology functionality and highly customisable ERP solutions it is easy to get hung up on the technology – at the expense of the real business goals. Following a best practice approach, such as Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition, leverages the experience of hundreds of thousands of other organisations and radically reduces implementation and design timescales.
2. Be realistic on timescales: Having often spent months on extended Request for Tenders (RFT), once a decision is made, organisations are often tempted to push for a very fast implementation. But this is a mistake: a twelve week implementation cannot be squeezed into six weeks without incurring significant business risk. A realistic implementation schedule is critical to ensure every aspect is managed well – from process design to user training.
3. Avoid version lock in: Recent research suggests that two thirds (66%) of organisations are locked into older versions of the ERP solution and, as a result, they cannot move forward and gain benefits. For example, some products require that the entire technology stack must be upgraded each time, creating huge additional cost and upheaval. In contrast, the SAGE ERP X3 upgrade has been made to be a far simpler process thus securing the initial investment decision.
4. Minimise project team: Limiting those involved in the project, at least initially, is essential to retain focus and avoid decision making delays. Ensure the project is business led, rather than dominated by IT staff, to retain focus on core objectives.
5. Adopt best practice: Following a best practice template, such as Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition, not only reduces project timelines but also includes incremental project sign off, ensuring on-going commitment and avoiding slippage.
6. Project Sponsor: A project sponsor is a key role to drive acceptance, creating awareness and understanding about the project throughout the business and taking responsibility for ensuring user availability for training.
7. User experience is important: Sage ERP X3 Standard Edition includes over 140 pre-defined visual processes, as well as over 400 standard reports and 50 KPIs. The visual processes significantly reduce training requirements and improve user acceptance.
Sage ERP X3 Product Champion at CPiO
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