How to lay the foundation for ERP project success in the preparation phase.

Expert Corner

There are not many organisations in today’s markets that can allow their next ERP/CRM implementation or Digital Transformation initiative to fail. Unfortunately, there is a persistent misunderstanding that the preparation for ERP project success only starts when a system is shown, and you are connected to suppliers. But are you aware that the most critical decisions that determine success or failure are taken in the beginning of the preparation phase? So, where do you lay the foundation for your next project success?

Major shifts have occurred in the past 5 to 10 years in software implementation projects’ success and failure factors. Over time, these factors have shifted from purely technical aspects (think: system failures and performance) towards organisational aspects, including the willingness and ability to change business processes, mindset and company culture. With this shift, it makes sense to take a completely different approach to your preparation phase.
Solid preparation for an organisational project starts much earlier compared with the traditional, more technology-driven projects. And because of the nature of today’s projects, there is an urgent need to include different roles in your project if success is the only realistic option. Ideally, the main principles and preconditions for the project are already determined before contact is made with suppliers.

Here are some essential questions which are ideally answered in your preparation phase for ERP Project Success:

• What are the strategic goals that we want to achieve with this initiative?

• How can we define these goals in an attractive format so that every single employee can understand them?

• How can we secure active involvement from the complete management team?

• Who is the active and skilled sponsor on the board level that will be responsible for both success and (unhoped-for) failure?

• Will, this project be the only project with a 100 per cent focus, or will there be more projects running simultaneously?

• Are we adopting the new software to the way we work, or are we open to change our business processes towards the best practices in the software?

• Are we opting for a ‘big-bang approach, or is a series of ‘baby steps’ a better approach?

• Where are the greatest risks of failure, and how can we limit or even eliminate them?

• How can we motivate our teams to share their best ideas with the project team?

• How can we use communication so that we involve the entire company at an early stage?

It is, of course, of crucial importance to share the answers to these questions with the entire organisation. An additional advantage of this approach is that you can inform your potential vendors and implementation partners much better about what you want to achieve.

Preparation is always ninety per cent of the end result. So there is a good chance that this new approach will contribute to better project results.

Contact the team here at Sci-Net and find out how Sci-Net can help you plan your next project and help you take the next steps in your digital journey. 01869 717425 or email


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