Additional Reasons Why ERP Implementations Fail

stockfresh_7838505_angry-businessman-throwing-papers-in-office_sizeSWe recently discussed the 5 biggest pitfalls that occur during an ERP software application implementation on our latest episode of The ERP Advisor Conference Call. During the call, we detailed the biggest reasons implementations fail, and how to avoid them. However, even if you avoid these common pitfalls, you still aren’t guaranteed success.

So here are two additional (bonus) pitfalls that we have seen firsthand in our years of experience. These “bonus” pitfalls aren’t as obvious but can cause major problems if they aren’t addressed.

1. Underestimating the importance of training

You’ve got to make sure that the people who will be using the new system know how to use it. Every implementation program generally has a training plan, but the presence of a plan does not necessarily mean that it will be effective. Your employees may attend the training, but they have day jobs which means that they might be answering emails or addressing emergencies while the training is taking place. Then, when asked about the new software application, they will say they are unhappy with it and mainly because they don’t know how to use it.

The key here is to put accountability on the person who is learning the software application to learn the software. While this may sound obvious, it’s true and it works. For example, while a trainer can stand at the front of the room and tell everyone how to use the software, the only way they are going to learn is if they do it for themselves. During the training, ask everyone to get in groups and practice entering orders or handling other common tasks. This will ensure they know how to use the software application and if they have questions, they are in a position to ask them. Putting the accountability back on the employees can really help ensure that they know how to use the system and that they are benefiting from it.

2. You have one or two people that don’t want the project to succeed.

We never like seeing an implementation fail, but one of the most unpleasant ways it can is when your own teammates sabotage the process. Some of your coworkers may not want your project to succeed and may actively work for its failure.

It’s normal for people to bring up concerns so the business manager or implementation team can address them. It’s also normal, especially for longtime employees, to feel hesitant or uncomfortable about a big change. But there are also people who go well beyond normal or helpful levels of questioning and discomfort — we’re talking about the people that have an overall bad attitude, who treat a crucial implementation project as a personal affront to their workday, and who openly refuse to let the project be a success. Ultimately, you will need to have a talk with these people and let them know that they either need to get on board or leave. It sounds harsh but it’s true: if a software application implementation can help your company grow and flourish, one person can not be allowed to stand in the way of that. You are simply protecting your job and your company by dealing with that individual.

Avoiding all of the pitfalls we have discussed over the last couple of weeks will help make your implementation process smoother. ERP software implementations have a high rate of failure, but we hope that by sharing some of the most common pitfalls, you can avoid them and increase your rate of success. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. At ERP Advisors Group, we specialize in supporting you through your entire selection and implementation process to help ensure success.

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