7 most common mistakes in business-critical ERP / PMS implementations

Alignment with the core software system to support daily businesses is essential. When considering implementing a business-critical ERP system or switching from your current supplier, gaining relevant insight to find your trusted and advanced technology partner is key. Hence, providing the most common mistakes during these ERP / PMS implementations.

01. Lack of urgency

Why change? Without the sense of urgency to change, people will not take the effort to make the change. Without understanding the importance of making a change it will be impossible to mobilize your troops. Especially when it’s about changing your ERP / PMS it needs to be crystal clear to everyone involved; why? If this is unclear you can expect resistance to change in all kinds of ways.

Even despite how inefficient processes have become. Keeping the technology stack situation as it is, is the easiest short-term way forward. However, in the long-run, is your business moving forward? Or is the constantly changing environment being ignored?

02. Insufficient commitment on C-level

C-level commitment is an important pillar of the success of an ERP/PMS implementation. In the end, changing business-critical systems are strategic business decisions. Strategic decisions are made by C-level. If C-level is not involved nor aligned somewhere in the implementation process this will result in indecisiveness on lower levels of the organization.

Therefore a leading coalition needs to be formed including C-level and lower levels of the organization. This coalition needs to drive the strategic change, be decisive and determined.

03. Be decisive from the design phase till go-live

It is important to map out the business processes within a company to support long-term business goals. What will those processes look like in 5 years, or even 10 years? How is the market developing and how does the organization respond to this? The question itself is already difficult, but now the answer must also be used to determine the correct software implementation. Take the time to get the clearest answer to this and embrace your technology partner in this decision. In 5 years’ time, a lot could have changed around us. In order to guarantee the continuity of the company and systems, even after 5+ years, the long-term vision for change must be an important part of the business-critical ERP / PMS implementation.

04. Lack of communication

The long-term vision needs to clearly explain to the organization why you change your ERP / PMS. People need to understand why efforts are taken and what this will bring them. This understanding is key to motivate the implementation teams and people impacted by the change.

Make sure the implementation process remains alive at all levels of the organization during the implementation. In order to limit uncertainty, fear, and mistrust, communicate as honestly as possible about the status, the challenges, but especially the (partial) successes achieved. Communication about the scope of the project could prevent the “nice to have” items prevailing above the needed business-critical processes.

05. No decision is also a decision

During implementations, a lot of decisions have to be taken, where involvement of the business is key. It often happens that the business does not feel comfortable taking the decision to change business processes or change priorities. This happens when the business is not fully trusting the ERP / PMS vendor or lacks management back-up. This is disastrous for the speed of the implementation process. An experienced project manager can prevent these kinds of problems and remove important obstacles that occur. Make sure that the implementation process starts with a design phase and is described in clear steps, including a timeline. Keep this as a starting point, but dare to deviate from it based on advancing insight in an agile methodology.

06. Quest for customization

Often the implementation focus slowly shifts from business processes to software features. Key-users might want to replicate the legacy processes already in place and therefore ask for software customizations instead of applying best-practices in the software that is being implemented. By focusing on the critical business processes, the requirements and wishes, objectives, and monitoring, it will become clear what the actual needs of an organization are. Only then is it time to investigate the various options in terms of software, while linking them to your business goals.

Some people tend to think that their processes are completely unique, they often are, but the business goals that need to be achieved are mostly far from unique. By weighing the need-to-haves and the nice-to-haves against each other, it will appear that most of these requirements and wishes can be fulfilled by market-solution-driven software-as-as-service. We believe organizations can be unique in how they run their business and operate their system, not by having a unique PMS.

07. Forget to anchor the change

Ensure the continuation of the new situation by anchoring this change. The change is assured if it is embedded in the ‘new’ business processes, measured, evaluated, and adjusted periodically and systematically. This concerns ERP / PMS systems, but especially also the discipline and determination to actually do things differently. In practice, this is often not done, causing changes to get bogged down.

Hence, successful implementations lean on good change management and the willingness to embrace your information technology partner. Do you allow yourself a future-proof partnership for your business-critical ERP/PMS system?

Key take-aways for a successful implementation

01.     Make sure C-level back-up is in place

02.     Create a clear vision why ERP / PMS change is needed

03.     Be decisive from the design phase till go-live

04.     Focus on business processes

05.     Communicate across all levels of the organization

06.     Adopt best-practices and say good-bye to legacy processes

07.     Anchor your ERP / PMS change as an accelerator of business

Author
Maxxton | 29 October 2021
Global provider of market-leading hospitality software-as-a-service for the large vacation & short-term rental industry.
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