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4 Critical ERP Onboarding Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Pitfalls in the pre-, during and post-deployment stages can stand in the way of your organization realizing the full value of ERP. Read on to learn the top four and how you can avoid them.

June 10, 2018

1. Not having a full understanding of your business processes/requirements

Gaining an understanding of your critical business processes and documenting them can often be time-consuming, but it is absolutely necessary if you want to ensure a successful implementation. ERP is at the heart of a business and is often intended to be the core management system for company operations. A complete understanding of your business processes is essential from the start as you start to look and select the right ERP vendor.

Not having a good understanding of your requirements can often cause implementations to drag on due to customizations that were not initially scoped out. The more time spent on understanding processes and requirements up front, the smoother the implementation will go.

2. Not having proper project management and resource commitment

A prerequisite for a successful ERP implementation is a dedicated project manager who is involved in planning and ongoing management. In addition, companies need to be prepared to commit sufficient resources to the project before, during and after implementation. Ongoing reviews of project phases throughout implementation, with full participation of the team is also important to keeping the project on track.

3. Not having executive and organizational buy-in

This is often the biggest stumbling block for companies. Without this support, ERP initiatives are likely to be 'starved' for corporate funds/resources. These initiatives are often started by the CIO or IT Director, but the support of the entire C-Suite is critical. These executives are responsible for setting the corporate direction and business strategy, so they need to be involved in higher-level decisions around how the ERP system will be involved in running the business. These ERP implementations are big and complex projects that will fail without the right management support.

4. Not investing in training and change management

ERP implementations don't just affect systems and processes-they also involve people who may find it difficult to change roles, processes and behaviors that they may have learned after many years of work. Managing change is a constant, ongoing process that needs to start from day one and continue throughout the implementation to end-user training at the end of the project. Your implementation is only as good as the people that are using the system and the data that is entered, so getting everyone on-board and confident in their ability to use the system can help with wider adoption throughout the business.