5 steps to fix a failed ERP implementation project and save your organizational ERP investments

Anyone who has been associated closely with a failed ERP implementation knows only too well the major headaches such a massive failure can cause. The aftermath often involves extended working hours at the office, an obviously frustrated staff,  daily tasks that just don’t seem to end.

Failed ERP implementations are not uncommon in the industry. So what do you do when your nightmare comes true and the project takes a negative route?

If you’ve recently suffered a failed ERP implementation, just take a deep breath. All is not lost and there is still hope. Here are five helpful steps you can take to fix a failed ERP implementation.

Take an inventory of the real problem

Ask yourself key questions such as “Why did your ERP implementation fail”? Was it due to the partner’s incapability to implement properly or the company’s inability to follow through? It may be surprising to note that none of the top issues when it comes to ERP failure may have anything to do with the software itself. They all can be traced to lack of team effort, poor internal communication or disability on the part of employees to adoption to the new solution. Broadly speaking, these problems are all problems with change management.

Keep in mind that the failed implementation cannot be fixed unless some of the underlying issues are fixed first.

Opt for Scrap vs Salvage

Sometimes it’s better to fix what you’ve already started but sometimes you may have to start from scratch. You can discuss with your new ERP partner which option is better for your enterprise.

The extreme of course is starting over. If you choose to start over, it is true that it will involve a lot of delays in term of the timeline. However, that delay in the timeline is often a better option compared to the option of living with nagging issues in the system which in course of time will become much bigger lead to both further time wastage and loss in productivity.

Master project management

Effective project management is key to the success or failure of any project and that includes ERP implementations. Hire an expert Project manager who can constantly monitor the progress of the project and keep a track of the deliverables and timelines and report to the management on a periodic basis so that a team you are able to plug holes immediately and not let the project suffer.

Change Management

Change is inevitable; however, it can be either exciting or frustrating. How we manage it and transition from current state to another makes all the difference. While implementing an ERP change management takes on a whole new dimension. Many employees are initially averse to changes and even have resistance towards adopting the new solution. However, these obstacles can be made easy and through effective change management.

Maintain minimum customizations

One of the biggest issues ERP partners face is when the client wants the software to adopt most of their existing businesses process as it is and this requires the partner to implement a lot of additional customizations to make the system work as per the processes. This is particularly dangerous as excessive customization makes the system unstable and makes it prone to errors and bugs.