Solving the Problems That Lead to Late, Over-budget ERP Implementations

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We’ve all heard horror stories about ERP implementations going overtime, over budget, and just being a headache from beginning to end. Is there a way to prevent that? Is there a way you can choose an ERP solution like Microsoft Dynamics 365, choose an implementation partner, and be assured of a successful outcome? Yes, there is.

There are three major factors in an ERP implementation project stalling, failing, or going over budget:

• Implementation taking longer than anticipated
• Timeline creep
• Changes in scope

Let’s examine these dangers and see how they can be prevented.

ERP implementation takes longer

Your Microsoft Dynamics 365 implementation partner will look at your company’s business processes and estimate the amount of effort needed to implement your ERP solution. For instance, if workflows are needed for purchase order approvals, a smaller company with fewer employees and one approval step will take X hours. A larger or company or one with more complex needs and requiring multi-level approvals will require more hours. The time required will be included in the statement of work.

Sometimes, companies claim to be simple, but in the design phase, it is revealed that their requirements are a bit more complex than they originally stated. What was estimated to be a simple implementation turns out to be more complex. With hundreds of business processes supported in Microsoft Dynamics 365, this can scale very quickly. The implementation takes longer than anticipated. The estimate turns out to be faulty.

To prevent this, be sure your company’s internal implementation team takes a hard and realistic look at your business processes. What do you need? What do you want? What would be nice to have? It is imperative that you communicate these goals to your implementation partner during the sales process. Thereafter, your implementation partner must steer their ship within those waters and not drift the company into complexity that was not agreed upon. By being clear upfront, you’ll avoid delay and added costs later.

Timeline Creep

Both simple and complex companies typically want to go live as soon as possible. Most of us want instant results even if that’s not always reasonable. Once the decision to purchase Dynamics 365 has been made, the whole company will be looking forward to using it. You may be tempted to pressure your implementation partner to deliver sooner, consolidate, work in parallel, or whatever it takes to bring the project to a conclusion sooner rather than later.

But what if your company’s Controller is on vacation and can’t sign off on the chart of accounts, the Purchasing Manager is at supplier meetings and won’t be available to sign until next Wednesday? Despite your best intentions, your project timeline is falling apart.

While some project timeline changes are normal and included within project management, extensive and repeated timeline changes will greatly affect the timeline as well as the budget.

To prevent a timeline slip, be sure your team is in a position to make required decisions within the window provided in the project plan. Perhaps you can do this by having backup approvers.

What if the timeline creep is not the fault of your company, but your implementation partner is not meeting their timeline commitments? Prevent this timeline slip by doing your homework and choosing a reputable, experienced implementation partner in the beginning and then hold them to the same standards you expect from your internal team. An on-time, on-budget implementation should be everyone’s goal.

Changes in ERP implementation project scope

In the previous two sections, we talked about change orders that occurred because a process became more complex, and the timeline stretched. The third factor that results in change orders is scope. Expanding scope can quickly torpedo both time and budget.

A solid pre-sales discovery should reduce the danger of escalating scope by limiting the number of additions to a project. It’s up to both parties to keep the team excited about the new features that are available in Dynamics 365 but within the timeline and budget constraints that have been agreed on. Any features that are added should be truly critical to the project.

To prevent changing scope, be sure to have an internal implementation team who has the authority to limit users’ requests when necessary.

Templated implementation methodology

One other method to control delays, timeline creep, and scope changes is to use a templated implementation methodology that reduces the volume of decisions required to get your Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution up and running.

Velosio is among the largest and most recognized Microsoft Dynamics partners with thousands of active customers. Many years as a recognized leader in ERP, CRM, Cloud productivity, and business intelligence solutions has repeatedly landed Velosio in the top 1% of Microsoft Dynamics Partners worldwide. We’re the only US partner hand-selected by Microsoft to mentor and manage other partners as a Microsoft Master VAR. We also simplify the cloud experience for partners as an Indirect Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP).

If you’d like to know more about our templated implementation methodology and how it can help your ERP project come in ontime and on budget, contact our experts at Velosio.

By Velosio,

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