Demoing your ERP Implementation into existence does not work

ERP Implementation team

I have been reviewing ERP implementation proposals recently. It amazes me how few providers take a process driven approach. I want to walk through some approaches and lay out the pros and cons of each.

  1. Demo driven
  2. Data driven
  3. Process driven

There are many combinations and different approaches, however these 3 are a good sample of what I have seen lately.

Demo Driven

Early parts of the project focus on demonstration. Users demonstrate the current solution to the team. Then the project team demonstrates the new solution.

Pros

  1. Participants see how the new system will work.
  2. Project team understands how the business uses current system.
  3. Implementation team requires less business knowledge

Cons

  1. Team does not create process documents.
  2. Implementation team does not do gap analysis of current and past processes.
  3. Project does not identify process improvement.
  4. Team does not do data analysis.

Data Driven

Early parts of the project focus on what data will be migrated to the new system. Users extract data from the current solution. As a result, the project team maps that data to the new solution.

Pros

  1. Participants understand data needs.
  2. Implementation team requires less business knowledge

Cons

  1. Team does not create process documents.
  2. Implementation team does not do gap analysis of current and past processes.
  3. Project does not identify process improvement.
  4. Team does not demonstrate capabilities of new system.

Process Driven

The project focus on business process improvement. Most importantly, the process needs drive the system that is used to implement those processes.

Pros

  1. Participants understand business process.
  2. Team creates robust process documentation.
  3. Participants create complete gap analysis of current and past processes.
  4. Project identifies process improvements.

Cons

  1. Project team requires more business knowledge
  2. Team does not demonstrate capabilities of new system.
  3. Matching a system to business processes is difficult.

ERP implementation conclusion

While on the surface it looks easy to select a process driven ERP implementation approach, that is not always the best answer. The best answer is an approach that uses all of the tools above, but the most important part of implementing an ERP system is focusing on the business processes that will make an organization successful. One last item to be concerned with is change management. A solid change management framework ensures all of the expensive work is accepted by the organization.

About the author:

Greg Stellflue

Greg Stellflue provides fortune 500 IT value at an affordable price.

Email: greg.stellflue@level5iveconsulting.com

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