ERP Implementation Strategies – Survey Results

Recently, Huston Neal, a fellow ERP blogger, performed a survey to find out what ERP implementation strategies are most popular and successful. The results are very interesting. He wanted to know which of the strategies people used and which ones were successful. The strategies he focused on were:

  • Big bang – Implementation happens in a single instance. All users move to the new system on a given date.
  • Phased rollout – Changeover occurs in phases over an extended period of time. Users move onto new system in a series of steps.
  • Parallel adoption – Both the legacy and new ERP system run at the same time. Users learn the new system while working on the old.

Many companies take a Big Bang approach or “let’s turn off the old and start with the new on a target day” method. Others take a more cautious approach and go with a few modules such as the financial modules while linking them back to the legacy system. This usually takes more work to integrate and it usually costs more in terms of consulting and internal team hours. The Parallel adoption is often very difficult as the two systems usually take a different approach to gathering and summarizing the data. It requires double data entry as well, so the employees feel a lot more pressure. This is seen less-and-less nowadays.

We would have thought that Big Bang would be the more frequently used approach and yet the results show that it is almost even with a Phased Approach. Fortunately only a few companies went with Parallel processing. This is often the most painful approach.

The results of the survey are here. It is a fair representation of how people approach implementing a company-wide software. It would be interesting to see how people implement add on systems to ERP such as a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM).

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