The Case of the Failed ERP Implementation - Part 3

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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 his role in this fiasco. We have already heard from assistant controller Julian and staff accountant Dimitri .  Up next: Consuela – project manager:

"I have been using Microsoft Project for several years and live and die by it. It worked fine for the QuickBooks implementation so I was expecting it to be just the perfect tool to manage our new ERP implementation. I was able to schedule out resources and tasks, create a timetable, and establish dependencies - all the necessary steps for successful project management When the implementatation failed, I was more surprised  then anyone!".

Is Consuela 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 blog we heard  testimony from Dimitri - staff accountant, who self taught himself the new ERP solution.

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

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!

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

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