Defining Success & Measuring It
A successful implementation of ERP system should mean the following : the business goal or the outcome that was desired should be achieved at the end of the project. Such outcomes could be reduction in costs, reduction in complexity, increase in sales, ease of doing business, or adaptation of existing business to new conditions. All of these goals can have measures in $ or time saved.
The Actors: Friends, Neutrals, and Enemies
A lot of times, once a goal is set, it is often that many parties try to push towards the goal and a few pull it away from the goal. And this is called office politics. This is just natural and should be expected. People don’t like change as it impacts their position especially if it could threaten their livelihood, their power or change the perceived importance in the organization.
The Project Manager
Another key player in any ERP Implementation is the project manager. Someone who has the difficult job of balancing the politics and the outcomes. The general who has to decide which battles to fight and which not. He has to keep his friends close and enemies closer. He or she for that matter should keep the vendor in check and also prevent the scope from exploding. But most of the time need to keep the shit hitting the fan. And most importantly keep the big picture in mind & keep an eye on the details.
No matter how political the environment gets, the vendor has the potential to overcome or to worsen the situation. Any vendor worth his salt that brings a solid project management office, has some responsibility to guide/coach the client to be practical. However, the vendor is paid by the hour so more money for them if they get bigger customization requirements. However this often backfires.
Where does it all go wrong?
When something goes wrong, and it happens in 2 out of 3 cases, it is easy to find someone to pin the blame. But in reality, it is much harder to blame one person or one organization. Everything from changing priority, funding, turnover, competency of the vendor & project managers, competency of the management all are to blame. Typically there is plenty of blame to go around and everyone can own a piece of it.