Identifying and Overcoming the Top 5 Reasons for ERP Implementation Failures

It is no secret that an ERP implementation is a formidable undertaking. Gartner has quoted: “Based on over 6,000 interactions with Gartner clients since 2016, we estimate that 20% to 25% of ERP initiatives are considered failures. Another 55% to 60% are compromised in some way by the organizations undertaking them”. These startling numbers indicate a very disturbing trend when it comes to ERP: Businesses are severely missing the mark in identifying and planning for ERP implementations. So how do you avoid the ranks of these failed projects?

While the reasons behind the widespread ERP implementation failures are many, there are a handful of key items that we see consistently in our engagements. These all stem from missing certain levels of perspective when taking a look at business processes and procedures, especially in terms of achieving needed compliance and building the framework. By drawing back and looking at the points below, you will position yourself to be better prepared for your ERP implementation.

Insufficient Due Diligence in Choosing A Well-Qualified Implementation Partner

  • Does the partner have a specific focus, or are they a generalist?
    • Engaging with a partner that has a specialty can work wonders for your project—if their areas of expertise line up with your ERP project goals.
  • What is the level of expertise and experience that the individual consultants will bring to the table?
    • This will include a mix of experience and implementation track record. Pay close attention and ask if they have had successful ERP implementations within environments that resemble your own.
  • Can they provide any references?
    • Better yet, will the potential partner let you interview any of the references they provide? This lets you ask their clients very specific questions related to your requirements.

Implementation Partner’s Failure to Understand the Unique Aspects of Your Business

A large contributor to ERP implementation failures is that the implementation partner does not understand the client’s business needs. Furthermore, an implementation partner’s inability to translate business requirements to system requirements, is a recipe for failure. This is why the partner you bring in is going to need to understand the particulars of your business operations better than you. They will need this level of understanding to build a solution that suits your project plan and to introducbetter ways to run business processes.

Unrealistic Expectations Are Not Identified and Corrected

Failure to Incorporate Compliance Requirements

Mishandling of Project Handoff/Signoff

For proper sign-off to occur, all aspects of the project must be documented and tested by both your project team and your user base. Ultimately, your ERP implementation partner should regard adoption by employees, as the well as employee morale, as ultimate confirmations of a successful implementation.

Overcoming ERP Implementation Odds with a Valued Partner


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