How to Insure That Your Microsoft Dynamics GP Implementation Will Cost More Than You Planned (or how to blow your ERP budget in 6 easy steps): PART II

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Last week in Part I of this post, we covered the first 3 ways to blow your ERP budget.  This week, we finish up with points 4 – 6.

4.                Not having an internal Project Manager (PM).  Trust me, you really want (and need) a go-to guy or girl for your project.  Not having a key person that understands and accepts that he or she is the customer point person for your Dynamics GP implementation project can lead to problems.  Communication is one of the most important parts of an implementation project, and this person will be the glue that holds it all together and makes sure everyone who needs to be a part of the project is heard from.  The fact that this person has this additional responsibility besides their normal job should be clearly communicated and embraced by both upper management and the end users that will work with Dynamics GP.  This will avoid surprises (surprises = $$$), keep everyone in the loop, and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

5.                   Not getting end user buy-in (or failing to ask What’s In It For Me (WIIFM).  Often end-users (maybe just a key end-user or two) are part of the ERP software evaluation process.  But sometimes upper management makes the decision to move to a new solution with little involvement or input from the end-users.  You will have a more successful and less costly implementation if you can involve end-users early on in the process.  If the CFO is thrilled to hear about all the great GP reports that come out of the box, but your AR clerk thinks there is going to be more work for him or her, your project may suffer a slow and painful death.  Change can be scary.  Take the bite out of it by making sure everyone knows why you are moving to a new system and what they will get out of it (WIIFM) and you just may recruit some vocal advocates for the project.  Involve end-users in the detailed requirements definition, as they will use this system day in and day out.  Also get them involved in testing and confirming that everything is working properly.  Having a key end-user as system champion goes a long way to getting all others to accept the new system – which can reduce the time to get up and running and self-sufficient, and your ongoing post-implementation support costs.

6.                   Ignoring training.  You would be surprised how often training is the “stepchild” of the Dynamics GP implementation.  Everyone assumes that training will be done but somehow along the way, it often gets pushed off or is otherwise rushed and done on the fly (not by us, of course).  You need to plan your Dynamics GP training from the very beginning.  Determine who needs to be trained on what aspects of the system.  Be sure to have people cross trained on functions so if someone is unexpectedly unavailable you have another person with that knowledge and don’t have to call in the consultants for additional help.  Consider having a Train-The-Trainer model where you train key “power users” and they in turn assume responsibility to train and help others (without incurring additional consulting costs).  And plan the timing of the training.  Don’t schedule the training too far in advance of the go live period.  There is nothing like turning the switch on a shiny new Microsoft Dynamics GP system and then have the users ask “now how do I print a check”?  Ideally have in-depth training a week or two before go-live and then a refresher class of key tasks right before.

 As a Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner, we pride ourselves in keeping at or under the budget we have for our ERP implementations.  By keeping an eye on these few critical areas, you can go a long way to having a successful on-time and on-budget implementation.

Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have: Rick Feterick, Crestwood Associates LLC, 847-394-8820 x48, or [email protected].

Submitted by Crestwood Associates LLC – a Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner in Indiana.

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