20 Things Every CIO Should Know Before Starting an ERP Implementation

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By Jim Hickey, Vice President, Altico Advisors

I’m all about giving credit where credit is due and I just stumbled across this great blog post from Panorama Consulting Group out of Denver, Colorado.  Before we get started, I should note that I had never heard of Panorama before and have no connection whatsoever with them or the blogger, Eric Kimberling.  But Eric’s post was one I wish I had written myself because it’s so right on – down to earth, common sense, experiential advice for anyone about to be involved in an ERP implementation. 

Here’s what the Panorama Web site (www.panorama-consulting.com) says about their company:  “Founded in 2005, Panorama Consulting Group is a niche consulting firm specializing in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market for mid-sized companies throughout the globe. Independent of affiliation, Panorama helps firms evaluate and select ERP software, manages the implementation of the software, and facilitates all related organizational changes to assure that each of its clients realize the maximum level of business benefits.” 

One final note – My company, Altico Advisors, also offers ERP evaluation and software selection services.  

So without further ado, below is Eric’s list of 20 Things Every CIO Should Know Before Starting an ERP Implementation, reproduced here verbatim:

  1. ERP is about your business, not the technology.
  2. ERP initiatives are very challenging.
  3. Selecting the right software is the first step in a successful ERP implementation.
  4. No ERP software is perfect.  All have their strengths, weaknesses, and tradeoffs.
  5. A business blueprint is the second step to an effective ERP implementation.
  6. Business process re-engineering should happen before, not after, you implement your ERP software.
  7. ERP software best practices and pre-configured solutions do not solve all the challenges of ERP.
  8. SaaS ERP won’t eliminate all of your risks, either.
  9. Your project will fail without adequate organizational change management.
  10. Executive buy-in and support is critical to ERP success.
  11. The “A-Team” is critical to ERP success.
  12. There is no “one size fits all” ERP strategy.
  13. If your operations and ERP system are misaligned, it’s probably not the software’s fault.
  14. Expectations are high, but most ERP implementations don’t properly define the “finish line.”
  15. Most organizations strive fore “no customization,” but most fail to achieve it.
  16. You don’t have to implement ERP all at once.
  17. In addition to planning, implementation is also about execution.
  18. If you don’t measure it, you won’t achieve it.
  19. It is important to recognize the “canary in the coal mine,” or signs that your implementation may be in trouble.
  20. ERP success and benefits realization is largely determined before the implementation starts.

Submitted by Altico Advisors, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner for Manufacturing and Distribution serving New Hampshire (NH)

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