We’ve all heard about those “software implementation from hell” war stories – over budget, delayed and shoddy workmanship. Fortunately there are steps you can take to stay in control of your implementation, and keep it on-budget, on-track and correctly deployed.
Most project mishaps are usually caused by one or more of the following:
* Lack of planning and accurate estimating before the start of the project.
* Incompletely specified customizations.
* Rework due to misunderstood requirements.
* Lost information due to incomplete or verbal hand-off from one person to another.
* Lack of a dedicated and responsive super-user trained Client Project Manager.
* Lack of a dedicated, responsive and Client knowledgeable Vendor Project Manager.
* Inefficiencies brought about because of poor planning/estimating in projects resulting in a shift of personnel on an emergency ad hoc basis.
* Insufficient attention to detail by involved persons caused by, and contributing to, all of the above
Avert these common pitfalls by:
* Being realistic about the resources and time that will be required to implement a new Enterprise Resource Planning system, both internal and external.
* Appoint a senior resource, knowledgeable about your business, to be your Client Project Manager and make sure you allocate enough time in their schedule to devote to the task.
* Ensure your Client Project Manager becomes very knowledgeable about how your new Enterprise Resource Planning system works and is setup, so you do not have to be so dependent on your Enterprise Resource Planning Vendor.
* Involve your internal resources so that they are on-board with your new software, and contribute to the project success by making sure that their individual jobs and responsibilities are accommodated for in theEnterprise Resource Planning implementation (nothing like finding out on go-live day that accounting can’t print checks!).
* Require written specifications and documentation on all project-related issues, decisions and setup configurations. This reduces misunderstandings, that result in overruns and project delays.
* Recognize the value of and be willing to pay for good project documentation. Although creating and updating adequate project documentation usually seems to take more time than it’s worth, it pays out in the long run.
* Good documentation ensures that if any one individual is no longer available to work on your project, no matter how critical they were to the project team, the project documentation repository is adequate for a new resource to get quickly up to speed (the old “hit by a bus” factor has derailed more projects than not, even when there was no actual bus involved!).