Microsoft Dynamics vendors provide comparisons and opinions to professionals in the ERP/Accounting software selection process


Barry Knaster, the Knaster Technology Group

The Case of the Failed ERP Implementation – Part 2

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Part 1 in this series "The Case of the Failed ERP Implementation"  introduced us to Mountain States Entertainment Corporation (MSEC), who, by process of committee, selected and deployed a new ERP system during the summer of 2010.  By the end of that same year the implementation had failed. (refer to Part 1- Jan 18th blog post for additional background)

Who is to blame for this ERP implementation failure?  That is for you to decide!

Each blog, a different committee member provides input regarding their role in this fiasco.  Up next: Dimitri – staff accountant.

“ I am a quick study!  When we were reviewing the different implementation proposals I insisted that training be limited to a few basic sessions.  I really wanted to impress my supervisors with my ability to self learn a new system.  After all, how difficult can it be? The QuickBooks system was a breeze!  The ERP system we picked ranked high for ease of use, so I thought we should just be able to just flip a switch and have everything work.  Who knew?”

Is Dimitri guilty or innocent of contributing to the MSEC ERP implementation failure?

You be the Jury! (Provide your verdict and rationale using the comment section)

Last time we heard from Julian, the assistant controller.

(You) The jury’s unanimous verdict:: Guilty! Reasons why:

  • Implementations fail from lack of fit.  When evaluating ERP systems, the focus should be on “finding the fit” rather than “fitting the find”.  What this means is that a fit/gap analysis should be performed to determine if the software solution under consideration is adaptable to the existing and unique business processes of the organization - not the other way around.  There is always room for improvement, but a business should not have to change how they do business just to accommodate the requirements of the ERP solution.  Rather, the system under consideration should be able to accommodate and adapt to the changing needs of the business. 
  • All requirements, no matter how basic they may seem, should be flushed out during the software analysis stage. Perhaps the software has the features Julian wanted, but the implementation team did not turn them on, as they were never told they were important.
  • Often users think they are more willing to change their processes than they really are. Assuming software is flexible in the area you need it to be -  and then   being lazy about stating your requirements -  are two very common pitfalls.

The flexibility of a solution like Dynamics GP allows your company to integrate existing business processes with the capabilities of the software while still allowing room for future growth and change.

By: The Knaster Technology Group, Colorado based Microsoft Gold Certified Partner

One Response to “The Case of the Failed ERP Implementation – Part 2”

  1. Peter Elgar says:

    Is Dimitri guilty or innocent of contributing to the MSEC ERP implementation failure?

    YES – Dimitri – you’re Guilty!

    Good, comprehensive training is an essential part of any ERP project. OK, the software is easy to use, and it can be easy to work out that if you click button ‘A’, then ‘B’ happens. But by taking shortcuts on training Dimitri is probably not going to understand the criteria for clicking that button in the first place, the downstream processes that may have started, and the effect it could have on other areas of the business. Finding this out for yourself by clicking around the system can cause disruption, lead to errors and waste a lot of time. And no matter how much of a ‘quick study’ Dimitri is, ERP systems are complex and there are areas he’s unlikely to fully appreciate without training.

    Training on your ERP system is about a lot more than just the ‘how to’ questions. It should give the big picture of how different processes work, how they interact and why the system is set up the way it is and does things the way it does. In other words, training will give you the understanding of the system you need to not only use it, but to use it efficiently, correctly and productively.

    So Dimitri, you’re guilty. Good training is time well spent – No shortcuts!