How to Measure Success of a Microsoft Dynamics ERP Project

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Ask any executive sponsor of a Microsoft Dynamics ERP implementation what constitutes a successful implementation and the usual response is “on time and under budget.”  But do these two criteria actually measure success? What if the project was run correctly, the software installed correctly, and everything came in well within budget, but the project failed to deliver the business value the company expected from the project? Would it still be considered a “success?”

The true measure of success of any software project is based upon the project’s deployed solution fulfilling the goals and objectives of the company, delivering business value, and meeting the needs of the stakeholders.

Business goals and objectives reflect the long-term and short-term plans for the business. While goals are more qualitative, objectives are more granular and specific. If your objective cannot be tested and measured at the beginning and end of the project, then you cannot determine what you have achieved as a result of executing the project.

Business value is the “worth” of the project to the organization. Implementing an ERP system is more than installing software and updating a database; it involves reworking internal processes and training personnel to get the maximum benefit from the software—theoretically, this is what the company intended when selecting the software and investing in its implementation.

The needs of the stakeholders—all stakeholders—requires that everyone who interacts with the system can perform their job, preferably better than before, and that features are now available that make their job functions easier and more effective.

While delivering a project “on time and under budget” is important, a truly successful software implementation will also include “delivering business value to the organization and to its stakeholders.”

Installing a new ERP system is a major decision that will touch the way virtually all levels of a company’s employees perform their jobs for the foreseeable future. Part of the product selection process is to analyze the business needs of the organization in order to find the right price and product feature mix. By understanding the goals and objectives of the organization and the needs of all the stakeholders, the Microsoft Dynamics partner, particularly the project manager and the business analyst, can ensure that the requirements are adequately captured and that the project truly delivers business value.

Greg Kaupp is the CEO of ArcherPoint, LLC, a Northern California Microsoft Dynamics NAV (Navision) partner. Greg has been involved in Dynamics NAV implementations for companies throughout the U.S. since 1997.

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