How’s That 12-Step ERP Program Working For Ya?

“Their step-by-step program for a successful ERP selection/implementation sure looked great on paper. We already missed the first few deadlines. Do you think there’s any way we can get back on track and finish on time?”

Probably not. Regardless of the continued encouragement from the vendor/implementer/consultant, failure is a habit and once the progression of failure starts, it’s nearly impossible to reverse.

“Winning is not a sometimes thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

-Vince Lombardi.

Whether you do the selection/ implementation with only inside resources or hire out, there are only a few reasons these projects go awry:

  • Too much was missed up front regarding needed ERP and process requirements.

  • Dissension on the team – putting individual needs in front of company needs.

  • Lack of time, money, and/or effort by team member(s).

The 3 measurements of failure are time, money or requirements. Do those 3 look familiar here? In reality, an outside service assisting with this project can only directly affect one of the three and that’s the requirements. “Directly affect” is the key term because good leadership, using inside or outside resources, can have a dramatic effect on the other two.

Yes, a sound program is critical to a selection/implementation but in the end, people are going to make a difference. Whether inside or outside expertise is used, defining the process requirements up front is the foundation on which the entire selection/implementation is built.

  • People need to understand the existing process and WHY it is what it is.

  • People need to open their minds to the possibility of improving existing processes and work with a good change management concept on WHY things need changing.

  • People must have the drive and desire to create an environment where everyone can have a better quality of life and WHY that is the most important aspect of any change.

Change begins with the question of WHY, and people are the single most important force behind change. A good step-by-step program is important, but without a good foundation, you’ll be in your own 12-step program of recovery trying to figure out why things are failing.