There are many wrong turns on the road to the Desert of ERP Disillusionment. Some teams go wrong right out of the gate. Here are the top five warning signs that your real destination is not the pinnacle of ERP success, but the dry parched sands of the desert.
1. Your steering committee is texting while driving. If your key decision makers are multi-tasking through every steering committee session, its easy for them to miss critical information they need to actually steer.
2. The distraction of backseat squabbling causes the PM to miss a turn. Political infighting and lack of alignment among key stakeholders can be as difficult to manage as any carful of kids on a family roadtrip AFTER you have taken away their favorite electronic toys.
3. The driver is looking in the rearview mirror instead of the road ahead. While there are some lessons to be learned from your last ERP implementation (how long ago was that?) , modern state of the art systems require significant behavior changes in the way users interact with information in the system. If they are used to greenbar reports laid on their desks every morning, the gap may be too big to jump.
4. You read a guidebook about the wilderness once…. You can’t learn all your survival skills from a book. In life threatening terrain, there is no substitute for having an experienced guide on the team. If you haven’t put experienced change leadership into place before you bid your consultants goodbye, you will have neither the insight to recognize the warning signs, nor the skill to lead your people out of the desert.
5. You ran out of gas! You didn’t fill up at the last station because the ATM was out of cash, your credit card is maxxed out, and you used your last dollars on Slurpees and Twizzlers for the kids. If you fritter away your project budget on non-value added-customizations like moving fields on forms and cosmetic report changes, you won’t have money left to address any business critical requirements that come up late in the game.
(Hat tip to Mark Farrell for #5!)