ERP Implementations Reimagined – Part 1 

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Why do so many ERP implementations fail? No doubt you’ve heard the horror stories. Businesses spend loads of time and money on an ERP implementation only to have it fail before it has even shown a return.

In our next four posts, we plan to explore the problem of failed implementations. We'll present a new, forward-thinking approach that will drastically improve ERP implementation success.

For years, Microsoft Dynamics ERP implementations have been approached with what should be a fool-proof method: Microsoft Sure Step. But contrary to the name, the method is anything but sure. It’s not an exaggeration to say that most ERP implementations (Microsoft or otherwise) fail to live up to their promise.

Failures include over-budget projects that take far too long and result in poor user adoption.  But the majority of ERP partners follow the same Microsoft Sure Step path.  The poor results lead us to believe that there is something wrong with the formula.

Sure Step: not so sure results

Microsoft Dynamics Sure Step is the prescribed methodology for implementing Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions. The Sure Step application provides product-specific and general project-based templates, workflows, process maps, and tools. It's meant to assist your implementation partner.

In our experience, Microsoft partners use the Sure Step methodology in one of two ways. Either they precisely follow the Sure Step approach, or they use a partner-specific branded version based on Sure Step. If everyone is doing it, it should work, right? So why are so many projects either challenged or failed?

Typical ERP implementations

Challenged ERP implementations are at an all-time high in the ERP software industry. Talk to anyone who has taken part in an ERP software update or implementation; you’ll see what we mean.

Challenged and failed ERP implementation projects fall short within one or more areas:

  • Time (promised timeframe based on the project plan)
  • Budget (money quoted in the implementation plan)
  • Requirements (delivered functionality based on the sales proposal)

There are no successful implementations based on those three metrics, on-time, on-budget, and delivering on all promised requirements.

And yet, the Sure Step and its spinoffs continue to be employed—the classic definition of insanity.

Challenging the ERP implementation status quo

We hypothesize that there are two significant reasons partners stick with a flawed method:

  • Fear - ERP partners may fear stepping outside of a process that has been deployed forever and promoted by Microsoft.
  • Lack of experience - The Sure Step process is a substitute for experience; however, you can put it right up there with Ikea assembly instructions for measuring the quality of the outcome.

At Pelorus, we’ve taken a different approach. Rather than modifying or adapting the Sure Step methodology, we’ve taken a first-principles approach that begins with the goal.  Our innovative process for implementing ERP software is proven to be faster and more cost-effective in delivering value. Additionally, the requirements are set by experienced partners in conjunction with the client project team.  We’re anxious to share our approach with our customers and the community of partners who need to find a better way to deliver successful ERP implementations.

Read part 2 of ERP Implementation Reimagined.  We’ll explore the problem of Shadow ERP. Shadow ERP represents the unseen workarounds and disparate software components necessary to shore up a failed ERP implementation.

Are you looking for a new ERP solution or in the midst of a challenged or failing ERP implementation? Contact our experts at Pelorus and let us show you how to get it right the first time.

By Pelorus Technology,




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