When all of the right pieces fall into place, it can be a true pleasure to implement ERP. In fact, it can be easy to get carried away with all of the possibilities once you realize your potential. Before you know it, you’ve added some really great functionality, but you are still missing essential components of your final solution and you’re running short on time and money.
My favorite saying with my clients is: “We can do anything, for enough time and money.” They are the two biggest factors that you cannot escape. I pull this line out as soon as my clients start talking about the possibilities of what we could do if we just took this functionality one step further. It’s not that I want to damper their enthusiasm for the project or that I want them to spend less money. The point that I’m trying to emphasize is keeping our focus on our original goals, and preventing scope creep.
With the right resources, it really is true that anything can be achieved for enough time and money. But if you don’t have the time and money to invest right now, then you need to plan it out for when you will. This is where the Six Sigma approach really kicks in. Remember that achieving an ERP implementation without any frills will be challenging enough. No matter how much testing and training you do, your users will be under a lot of stress to get the basics of a completely new system. They will operate more slowly than they’re accustomed to at first. You want to make this transition as simple and painless as possible.
For go-live, shoot for just enough functionality to get your business operational. For each task, ask yourself if you can’t operate without this, or if you can survive a while after going live before you really need this functionality. Just make sure that you’re keeping track of these tasks. After you go live, this will be your ongoing wish/task list and can keep you moving closer to your goals even as the business, environment, and technology change.