6 Wrong Ways to Choose an ERP Software Implementation Team

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When it comes time to select and implement a new ERP/accounting software system for your business, the worst thing you can do as an executive is to make a unilateral decision that will potentially affect all of your employees and ultimately your customers.  Consulting only a few IT staff members is also not a good idea. 

For your ERP system to work, you will need something that not only functions well in terms of technology; it should function well for business.  Therefore, to choose the best ERP solution for your company, you should involve the key people who make your business work.

In order for selection and implementation to go smoothly, you need all of the key people on board, including executives, human resources, management, staff, and IT.  Just as you might create a committee for important business planning, you should do the same for your ERP software implementation planning.  Just to drive the point home, here are a few WRONGE ways to set up your ERP implementation team .

1. Consultants - Hire an outside consultant to "evaluate" your current situation (and possibly current ERP solution), write a report that no one in your office wants to read, and then suggest an expensive ERP software solution that probably gives the consultand a kick-back for endorsing it.  In the end, you are left with a deficit and software that no one understands or likes.

2. IT Department Domination - Having worked in IT for several years, friends often ask me to help them choose new computers to purchase, but just because I can fix computers does not mean I know what will work best and what is most affordable for them.  As mentioned above, in this scenario, you give the IT personnel the power they have always wanted, allowing them to have complete control over ERP selection and implementation.  The result will be an epic battle between IT and other departments, and the casualty will be your business.

3. The Slackers - Nothing will harm your business more than appointing the office breakfast club to implement your ERP software, simply because no one else has time or wants to be involved.  Those same people who complained about not having time will also complain when they do not like the software the "slackers" choose.  Value everyone's opinion, even if you have to force them to have one.

4. CFO, CIO, etc.  - It does not matter who it is, but if you let someone with "chief" in his title choose your ERP system, you will end up with something that only works well for that person.  When it actually comes to the employees who will use it most, they may find it unusable. The users must be involved in the process.

5. The Hackers - Marie from accounting has a 20-year-old son who writes computer software when he's not playing Xbox, and you decide it is a good idea for him and his friends, the hackers, to write a new ERP system for you, from the ground up.  This is not bad because the kid can write good code.  You might actually end up with a workable solution, but five years down the line, after the hackers have all gone in their separate directions and careers, you will have no one to support your software and no one who understands how it was mashed together.

6. The Vendor Bender - Chances are, there are a few vendors your company deals with on a regular basis.  You may even use some of their software for other services.  That does not mean, however, that you should let them run the show and implement your ERP system for you.  Do not assume that anyone knows your business better than the people actually running it.  Even if you are working with a trusted Microsoft partner, there are several Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions, and the ultimate decision will be up to your implementation team.

An ERP implementation team should consist of a good cross-section of your business. They should be allocated enough time and resources to do their jobs effectively, and they must see the task through from start to finish.  That includes selection, testing, training, deployment, transitioning and assessment.  Avoid these mistakes and you will have the best chance of success.

By ERP Software Blog Editors, Find a Microsoft Dynamics ERP Expert

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