Four top tips for a successful ERP implementation

Posted by Deltek on June 15, 2021

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Did you know that an intelligent cloud journey must balance business drivers, technology needs and industry dynamics to achieve the right blend of scale, shape and speed for your organization’s unique needs? (Accenture, 2020) But how do you go about securing a successful digital project, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Cloud implementation? We invited Håkon Røed, Partner and Director at Norwegian advisory firm Tellmann Executive Advisors, to share his insights at a recent Deltek webinar.

“ Cloud is the new norm!”

Håkon Røed, Tellmann Executive Advisors

As Håkon points out in the webinar, the ERP domain is transforming and so are the delivery models. Cloud is the new norm, implementation projects are different and the shift to decentralized and digital projects opens up for other ways of working together.

So what steps can you take to successfully replace your basic accounting or legacy ERP system with a more robust business management solution to support your business’ growth?

1. Success is in the preparation

As with any project, preparation is key. Do your homework before launching the project and identify what it is that you would really like to achieve; what are the vital effects the project must achieve, and who do you need to involve? It’s important to have a clear overall objective for the initiative, a defined ambition level committed by executive management and an understanding of what is necessary to reach the objective. And by identifying the relationship between the new ERP solution and your business strategy, you can secure the all so important buy-in from top management, including ownership and commitment.

When starting an ERP project, your firm will most likely have to run in a business-as-usual mode as most organizations cannot afford to stop their day to day operations. A step-by-step plan can be used to help navigate through your strategy, capacity and change ability when embarking on this digital journey. If you let the overall ERP objective guide you in your decision making, it will help you in the ERP project execution.

“Consider the overall objective as a desired future state of business, rather than a go-live date for the ERP solution.”

Håkon Røed, Tellmann Executive Advisors

2. Choose a partner that understands you

The procurement process is another important area to consider, as the vendor you choose will be a future partner of yours - and remember to make sure the vendor not only focuses on the functionality and system requirements themselves, but also on the overall business benefits and desired effects. Ensure the vendor understands and commits to what is most important to your business, as this will help realize the best results for your organization.

“ Make sure you choose a vendor who really understands you and your business, and has identified you in their target group.”

Håkon Røed, Tellmann Executive Advisors

When searching for the top solution for your business, ask the vendor for best practice for your particular business and industry. It’s important that the vendor has an understanding of your line of work and industry, so if projects are at the heart of your work, it’s important to choose someone who understands project-based businesses well. Verify user stories, and if it’s possible you should separate the choice of solution from the choice of vendor, or future partner. At present, during a global pandemic, it might be difficult to visit a reference customer, but even a virtual visit gives valuable insight into the solution and vendor fit.  


 

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3. Heads up for change management

In an ERP project, the complexity of change is often under-estimated. This is a significant project, so just as important as selecting the right vendor and solution, you need to have a structured approach to change management and allow for the project to take time. Monitor the progress and ’take the pulse’ on the business throughout the journey. Your change management success starts and ends with solid communication, and this together with trust, is vital to secure success.

“Take measures for monitoring the pulse in the organization.”

Håkon Røed, Tellmann Executive Advisors

4. Remember your people

People are central to a successful implementation project, and the project manager’s role is perhaps more important than ever. Since physical meetings are difficult, and in some cases impossible, for the time being, it’s recommended to agree on tools for a virtual delivery and project model to ensure smooth digital collaboration. Early on in the project you should identify and establish the communication strategy for the project - and look to use digital channels!

Be honest with yourself about the capabilities you have in-house, and allocate sufficient resources. It’s sometimes tempting to cut back on cost by doing things yourself, but this very often turns out to be a costly road to take. The vendor is responsible for a successful implementation of the solution, whereas you as the customer focus on harvesting the business benefits and ensuring the overall success by putting the solution into good use. Make sure you emphasize and spend enough resources on this. As a customer it’s your responsibility to stay true to yourself, ensure that the necessary change is made and that you achieve what you set out to achieve - and this includes making sure you have the right skills, approach and experience onboard.

“ The vendor is responsible for successful implementation of the solution, whereas you as the customer are responsible for harvesting the business benefits, and ensuring the overall success by taking the solution into good use.”

Håkon Røed, Tellmann Executive Advisors

To deliver a successful ERP implementation takes time, planning and dedication, but a successful new business system transformation can drive robust business benefits and help your firm grow.

Tellmann Executive Advisors

Tellmann Executive Advisors is a Norwegian advisory firm for executives who want to transform their business by using information technology and digitization. Tellmann Executive Advisors offer advisory services within digital business development, technology management and business solutions to vigorous leaders. Through experience, competence and methodology they lead the way until desired results are achieved. www.tellmann.no

 

About Håkon Røed

Håkon Røed has 20 years of experience with business solutions, change management and complex projects. Being Partner in Tellmann Executive Advisors since 2012, Håkon has lead customers from different industries in their digital journey rendered possible by utilization of modern business solutions. Prior to Tellmann he worked in the HR software and professional services industry and with ERP application management in a large international consulting company.

 

 


 

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