Maximising Benefits in ERP implementations
When starting an ERP implementation, expected benefits are usually identified and used to justify the project spend – and then ignored during the implementation! Instead, the focus is on achieving budget and delivering the project on-time. This is a big mistake and broadening the focus can impact on the success of the project and ensure that the ERP benefits are realised.
In order to maximise benefits in an ERP implementation, they must first of all be clearly identified and then reviewed and analysed at each stage of the project. Here are some actions to consider:
- List and examine the expected benefits to ensure they are achievable.
- Quantify and establish baseline values for each benefit.
- Assign an owner to each one (from the business, not the project team).
- Have the owner sign-up to achieving the benefit and link this to individual Key Performance Indicators (KPI).
- Present the expected benefits to the organisation so that all can see “what’s in it for me”.
- Ensure everyone in the organisation knows who is responsible for achieving each benefit.
- During the Design phase, benefits that hadn’t initially been considered can emerge and these should be captured.
- Quantify and assign any new benefits identified to an owner.
- Benefit owners should examine each relevant Design Specification to ensure it contributes to achieving the benefit and when satisfied, sign-off on that specification.
- Ensure the ability to measure the benefits is built into the system.
- Focus the test process on how the system will deliver the benefits.
- Ensure benefit owners attend Acceptance Testing to confirm that the system will deliver their benefits.
- Re-evaluate the baseline measures if necessary.
- Focus the Change Management process on the changes to the organisation and processes that will deliver the benefits.
- Agree a time-phased benefits realisation plan, with milestones and goals.
- Assign owners for measuring and reporting on each benefit.
- Appoint an overall owner for the process with responsibility for driving achievement of the realisation plan.
- Hold formal reviews every six months post implementation.
Having a focus on benefit realisation during an ERP implementation ensures that the real reasons for launching the project are constantly being examined and the likelihood of achieving those benefits is greatly increased.
This blog was written by Ursula Browne, Principal Consultant. If you would like further information on maximising benefits in ERP Implementations or any other aspects of ERP please send an e-mail to Ursula Browne.