What Does a Successful ERP Software Implementation Strategy Look Like?

Jan 12, 2022
Nandinee Biswas

An Overview of Critical Elements and Roles Involved

Covid-19 disruptions are enough to compel companies to make significant changes in their business model. This unpredictable year is fueled by change and adopting new ways of thinking and working. This means that organizations from across the globe are onboarding new digital technologies to transform their operational processes and revamp their workflows to keep their business afloat in the days of crisis until the signs of rebound emerge.

Business innovation with enterprise resource planning (ERP) software would not just make existing processes faster; it would bring resilience, agility, and real-time insights needed to enable companies to instantly respond to unforeseen changes and more efficiently cope with disruptions including shifts in regulations, a sudden spike in demands, unavailability of resources, and supply shortages. The system would help enterprises understand the needs of every business function, prepare them for the risks of twist and turn, and act on opportunities as they come.

Even though it is necessary, transition to a new cloud-based ERP system is a major task for any organization. It is a critical undertaking that could affect many parts of the business. Like any major initiative, a carefully designed strategy is critical to implementation success. Moreover, diving into ERP initiatives needs understanding the challenges and establishing a clear project route to reduce the likelihood of encountering significant problems later.

What are the ERP Initiative Challenges?

ERP implementation is a complex process and affects the entire organization, changing the way the business processes are handled. ERP initiative is marred by challenges.

1.The benefits of ERP initiatives are often undermined by fear of failure and change resistance. This makes the project teams limit their expectations from the deployment even before they begin.

2.Not engaging the business sponsors during the ERP strategy design phase makes them identify the initiatives as technology-driven projects rather than digital business enablers.

3.Less involvement of the end-users in the implementing ERP process would make them indifferent to the success of the initiative and reluctant to provide useful input.

Key Elements of Successful ERP Strategy

The quality of the products and services you sell is the result of great work done by your employees. So, your employee experience always has a significant role to play in your company’s success. But, when it comes to ERP software, the link between the implementation success of the business software and the employee experience mostly goes unnoticed.

Businesses pursuing digital transformation must use their employee experience and overcome the negativity associated with ERP initiatives. The following best practices are aimed at addressing the role of employees in the ERP implementation process:

Assembling a team of a diverse set of resources

Employees are often resistant to change as they find it convenient to use old ways that they are familiar with to do their job. In many cases, this resistance is caused by a lack of understanding of the reason for the change.

A composable ERP strategy enables your organization to achieve the efficiency and agility needed to fulfill the digital business goals. For this, your implementation team needs to have an open mind for applying imagination and inspiration to align the technical choices with business outcomes. Therefore, one of the keys to creating the right base for ERP deployment is to build an efficient team.

Fostering a cognitively diverse team would help. Its members bring together a wide range of experiences, processes, communications, and cultural norms. The diversity of your team members lets you establish new views to deliver breakthrough results.

Build a cognitively diverse team by:

  • Identifying the key business stakeholders.
  • Ensure the team comprises the right mix of people capable of thinking outside the box.
  • Leverage peer advocates.
  • Show your team ERP success benefits to motivate them to join the initiative and minimize change resistance.
  • Take tactical actions to set expectations for the upcoming changes.

Painting a colorful picture of the desired future state

ERP is at the heart of digital business transformation. You need to assess the readiness of your organization to proceed with an ERP initiative. The outputs of this evaluation would bring out the opportunities for innovation and differentiation. Understanding the effort associated with an ERP initiative is also important, and it continues even after the go-live.

Clearly communicating with the stakeholders about how ERP implementation would help the organization achieve its objectives and is essential for the strategy creation success - from implementation through post-go-live.

Appropriate ERP strategy frameworks and governance, differentiated engagement actions, identification of problems to solve, promoting collaboration, and adopting the right deployment methodologies to ensure continuous improvement are some of the critical elements that enable a successful ERP journey.

erp implementation

Turn end-user indifference into enthusiasm by forging an emotional connection

Enthusiasm stems from emotion and passion. Without this, most stakeholders would be indifferent to the ERP initiative and its goals. So, your ERP success also depends on how well you establish your emotional connection with them. Use a “what’s in it for me” information approach that shows the value of ERP deployment for them as individuals. This would help the end-users overcome indifference, fear, and resistance by assisting them to understand the link between the purpose of tasks they are performing and the vision of the organization.

Detailed Engagement Rationale for Your Enterprise Business Roles

Involving the right people in the ERP implementation plan could be leveraged to bring your strategic business vision to life. People you need to include in your ERP strategy to ensure success are:

Business managers

Business managers execute the leadership role. They need to understand the impact of the ERP initiative as part of your digital business transformation to share their vision and transform the other team members into active and enthusiastic supporters.

Super users

Credibility with end-users and business managers, a positive attitude, and a commitment to the role are some of the many qualities and characteristics of super users. These attributes make them suitable spokespersons for an ERP initiative. They often act as change agents to drive the adoption of ERP initiatives, ensure ownership of the solution, and sustain its integrity after implementation.

End users

With the growing role of postmodern ERP strategies in adopting cloud-based solutions, end-users play a more active role in selecting and implementing the system with minimal involvement of the IT department.

To many end-users, an ERP solution is a tool that is meant to help them do their daily job and fulfill their role more efficiently. They accept this change when they see the early successes of their peers’ work. You need to develop formal procedures to reinforce this positive communication to ensure end-users accept the change.

Getting Started with ERP Software and How We can Support You!

Transitioning to a new business management system could be daunting, so we have created industry-ready solutions to make this switch smoother.

As one of the trusted ERP software vendors in Singapore, we provide ample personalized training and ongoing support even after the go-live.

Fill in the form to get started.

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