According to Gartner 75% of all ERP projects fail, but ERP deployments or Digital Transformation projects don’t have to be synonymous with failure. With the correct structure, support and knowledge surrounding implementation, your Digital Transformation deployment can be straightforward, a perfect fit and smooth-transition for your organisation. So, is it Digital Transformation projects that fail, or those who manage them? To give you the best chance at a successful project, the 5 golden rules for a successful Digital Transformation project are…
A Digital Transformation project that’s staffed by a dedicated full-time team, who represent the various business units that the solution impacts, is a successful project. By empowering your best people to make decisions on behalf of the organisation, the application specialists from your partner can configure and customise the application to best match the business process. Essentially, a united approach is not an option but a must to succeed on the ultimate project goals.
For the smoothest success, your team needs:
- Executive commitment:This is critical throughout the project to manage the budget, relationships, scope creep and for pace maintenance.
- Key users:This group must be freed up from the commitments of their daily jobs. It is important that they understand that they are not replacing the old system on a like-for-like basis (as discussed previously).
- A change manager:To restrict scope change requests, unless approved by execs with a clear business case. Change manager to also own master configuration.
- A business analyst / business IT member:This member should be appointed to manage system admin, user creation, BI, and business automation tasks.
- An internal project manager:A PM within the client should be appointed to manage the internal resources and budget.
For your ERP project to succeed, you need to be decisive in defining and sticking to specific objectives. When designing your project plan, make sure to take into consideration holidays and fatigue. This will mean you’re less likely to be held up unnecessarily. Have an executive from within the business institute a governance model and monitor project progress, budget control, scope creep and the overall adherence to guiding principles. This ensures that the project team have clear expectations set about their roles and responsibilities and that they buy into them as part of the project team.
Scope creep must be banished.
It’s imperative to agree the minimal viable product for go-live and quickest implementation, and to put as many wished-for features into future releases after go-live. Our technology platform is a living product and should evolve with your organisation. If all the features are shoe-horned into version one, the project becomes far lengthier and costlier. Save money and time – the most valuable ideas will still come to life in later phases.
Keep it Simple, Stupid.
A decision needs to be made to Adopt or Adapt the standard system’s processes. Sometimes organisations have changed procurement processes just because a buyer wanted them to do so. At QUANTIQ, we always maintain that avoiding unnecessary development is crucial. Development should be focussed on where your organisation differentiates from the competitors.
Successful software implementations require attention on the right amount of interfaces – so avoid adding too many for a simpler project. Build for the future with your project, ensuring it meets your organisation’s most pressing needs.
Data is often left to the last minute, becoming the number one reason for project delays in the final stages. Start early on data and reporting, deciding what to migrate as soon as possible. Assign ownership of the data to business users who are responsible for its de-duplication, cleansing, validation and delivery to the project team.
Deliverables and timelines for data readiness need to be clearly stated and adhered to. Deviation from this must be escalated to Executive level as soon as possible as this could hurt during the later stages of the project.
It’s natural to want to get things completed as fast as possible, however, short-cuts often create substantial strains and issues within the team and ultimately the entire business. If you set realistic expectations from the outset and manage them throughout, you’ll see the project run on schedule and succeed from beginning to end.
Finally, it’s crucial to pay attention to the details of your ERP project and not get ahead of yourself and your objectives. Taking the project step-by-step will reduce the risk of wasted efforts, time and cost on unnecessary functionalities. Embark on your implementation with the aim to release your minimal viable product and make refinements once you have user-buy-in. It’s then that you can begin to plan for the next phases of your project.
It’s all about managing plans and expectations if you want your project to be in the 25% of success. Set your goals clearly, in line with a minimal viable product – simplicity is key. Assign your best people to manage these goals and keep everything on track. Keep timelines for your data migration, and make sure you deliver. If you don’t fail your project, it won’t fail you. If you’d like to explore your options around embarking on a successful digital transformation with Dynamics 365, chat with our experts today.