We view ERP projects a bit like a marriage. When you get into a business relationship with a software provider, it’s essential that you are both clear on the journey ahead. No relationship is plain sailing, so you must be prepared for a bumpy road…in sickness and in health, through the good and the bad and all that…
ERP Project Success Vs Failure
If the statistics are anything to go by (for both marriage and ERP), you’re doomed before you even begin. Failure (divorce) is often a word linked to a new ERP project, and you usually only hear the horror stories. For example:
75% of ERP Projects fail - Gartner
50% result in customers being dissatisfied - Panorama´s 2017 ERP Report
56% of businesses experience material operational disruption at go live.
But have these projects really failed? Or was there a misunderstanding / expectation gap from the outset? There could be a multitude of reasons why the project has ‘failed’; unrealistic budgets, underestimated project staffing, expanded scope and unanticipated technology issues - to name but a few.
The Expectation Gap
While these may be true, experts at Xperience Dynamics have highlighted ‘The ERP Expectation Gap’ as being the common denominator. Why? Because software vendors and customers have different view of what ‘success’ looks like and typically this isn’t addressed from the onset of the project. A bit like ensuring your vows align when you’re at the altar on the big day!
Changing systems is something most businesses only do once every 10c years, with the people involved only undertaking such projects 2-3 times in their careers. Therefore, very few individuals have the skills and expertise to undertake such projects. To overcome this, it’s key that client and providers skills are assessed and aligned.
So how can you overcome the expectation gap?
There are a few things that you can do to help you align your expectations with potential software vendors. These include:
Understand the providers resourcing capabilities. Can they deliver within your planned timescales?
Don’t always think of price as your main deciding factor. Often ‘cheaper’ one-size-fits-all solutions will need further development that could add additional costs in the long run. Future think the project, don’t just think of the here and now.
Get to know the delivery team. Although the sales rep may seem reputable, are the consultants?
Our latest eBook ">Overcoming the expectation gap in ERP” covers this area in a lot more detail, with key takeaways to help you plan your new project!