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).

Software Implementation Projects And Six Sigma

Software Implementation Projects And Six Sigma
Tony Jacowski

Six Sigma concepts were originally developed for use in the manufacturing sector, but are now increasingly being used in the services sector as well. Use of Six Sigma concepts in the software industry has become quite common, but what many people do not know is that Six Sigma concepts can also be used in software implementation. People who have experience in software implementation projects know that such projects often do not take off as planned and may be subjected to schedule overruns and recurring problems. This is why many software companies opt for employing Six Sigma concepts during the process of software implementation at a clients site.

Common Implementation Problems

The two most common problems faced during software implementation projects include customer requirement problems and schedule estimation problems. By employing Six Sigma concepts in software implementation projects, professionals can better understand the needs and business objectives of the client. This way, they can make sure that the software implementation project is successfully completed within the stipulated timeframe. Employing Six Sigma will also ensure that no additional costs are incurred during the implementation process.

Understanding Client Requirements

Software products are normally designed for increasing the efficiency of a business process in accordance with the goals and objectives of the client. Most of the problems related to the software arise during the implementation stage when the client finds out that the software is unable to achieve desired objectives. This situation arises when the client passes vague information about requirements to software developers or when developers are unable to clearly comprehend client requirements.

Six Sigma helps in avoiding problems during the software implementation stage by bridging the gap between actual requirements of the client and what is eventually understood by software developers. Many people believe that Six Sigma is only limited to the use of statistical methods. What they do not know is that Six Sigma follows a disciplined approach that can solve any type of problem, whether it is quantitative or qualitative. This is evident from software companies that have successfully employed Six Sigma concepts in solving qualitative problems that arise during software implementation projects.

Generating Schedule Estimates

Schedule estimation is another common problem faced during software implementation. Mistakes in schedule estimation can affect the outcome of an implementation project; as such projects are often required to be completed in a specific timeframe and within available budgets. Implementation projects are often delayed because planners make the implementation schedule without considering indirect factors that might affect the project. Planners often fail to foresee that implementation can get affected due to the size of the software, location where it is being implemented, internal politics, authority, and governance.

Employing Six Sigma concepts in preparing schedule estimations will help planners to effectively include all these factors which may indirectly affect software implementation projects. Based on the past records of the client, Six Sigma statistical tools will generate an efficiency chart, which provides details about all types of problems faced with the client during software implementation projects. The chart displays the time taken to resolve such problems and techniques that were employed to solve such problems.

The chart also displays any additional time or costs that went into the completion of the project. Planners can use the information given in the chart for giving due consideration to all the indirect factors that can affect software implementations. This will help in generating true schedule estimates, necessary for the success of software implementation projects.

Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solutions Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.

The top 20 ERP implementation tips

We ran across an interesting article on the things you should do during an ERP implementation. Worth a read:

The top 20 ERP implementation tips
By Jan Stafford, Site Editor
22 Jun 2005 |

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) software project can be daunting for first-timers or veterans handling a migration. Get started on the right foot with the top 20 ERP implementation tips from Linux users, consultants and vendors.


1. Know your goals for your ERP implementation. Choose the product that promises to meet those goals and put measurement tools and processes in place to gauge your success, advises Lance Williamson, engineer, Engenio Information Technologies, Inc., Wichita, Kan. In particular, he said, set goals for performance, response time and downtime.

2. Don’t do any project without a plan, particularly an ERP project which touches almost every part of your organization, said Bernard Golden, CEO, Navica Inc., a consulting firm in San Carlos, Calif. Create process with regular milestones and participation from affected organizations. And be sure to test, test, test, all the way through. “All of these things seem like ‘nice-to-haves’ rather than critical elements in a project, but can make the overall project much more successful,” Golden explained.

3. Involve users in your ERP project planning phase, said Andy Klee, president of Klee Associates, Inc., a consulting firm in Cedaredge, Colo. “The software is not going to do you much good if you don’t have employee buy-in,” he added.

4. Don’t do the planning and implementation alone if you don’t have the in-house skills to make it happen, said Jorg Janke, president of open source ERP vendor Compiere Inc. in Portland, Ore. “Determining which options and features to use requires experience,” he said. If the in-house team doesn’t have that experience, Janke advises, find a local ERP expert who is trustworthy and who collaborates well with your team.

Read the rest of the article here…

The top 20 ERP implementation tips

Stumbling through various ERP websites, we came across this article that shows some of the key factors for doing an implementation correctly. You should probably read this one…

The top 20 ERP implementation tips
By Jan Stafford, Site Editor
22 Jun 2005 |

An enterprise resource planning ERP software project can be daunting for first-timers or veterans handling a migration. Get started on the right foot with the top 20 ERP implementation tips from Linux users, consultants and vendors.The top 20 ERP implementation tips

ERP Packages Feature Comparison