Know your stakeholders!
By definition, upgrading an ERP system affects the whole organisation. Stories about prestigious ERP projects ending up with unfulfilled promises are – unfortunately – not rare. Over and over we hear about failure rather than success. Why? Because of a disconnection between business and IT characterised by siloes, little shared understanding or focus and lack of common business goals.
Think about how much money has been wasted and how many promises have gone unfulfilled, when the result of investing in an ERP upgrade turns out to be just the opposite of what was expected. Imagine how many dead end paths have been followed when the new system turns out not to support business procedures, resulting in missed opportunities to drive revenues, grow market shares and increase speed of business.
Stakeholder management is critical to the success of every project in every organisation – also when it comes to an ERP-upgrade project. To achieve a value-driven ERP upgrade with maximum output, you need to know your stakeholders, find a common language, set common business goals and ensure top management commitment. These are the fundamental keys to establish the knowledge, shared understanding and cross-functional corporation essential to succeed. Resistance to change or lack of commitment can be solved by engaging the right people in the right way. Therefore; make sure to identify the individuals or groups that are likely to affect or be affected and make sure to involve them.
Clear communication and strong involvement will give the key stakeholders a stronger position to undertake further commitments and realise the project – which is your key to maximise output and minimise risk in your next ERP upgrade.