A whole lotta changin’ going on
If you’re about to start an ERP software implementation, you’ve already done the hard yards to establish the right application and vendor, and to understand the business benefits you can expect, and the upcoming journey to go-live day. So, we’re not going to talk about that.
What we are going to discuss is the importance of making sure that the changes you’re about to make by adopting new, transformative technology are going to be palatable to your users. That chaos and user resistance won’t undermine all of the hard work and investment that goes into a major ERP implementation project, and that the business will realise an ROI sooner than later.
Once upon a time (way back in 2015), you could reasonably expect 70% of all transformation initiatives to fail. But since then, that well-known McKinsey & Company statistic has been downgraded by Gartner to around 50%. While that’s a considerable improvement, success is still not a ‘sure thing’, with only 34% of change initiatives being defined by organisations as a clear success, and 16% sitting on the fence - unable or unwilling to classify their project as an obvious failure or success.
The cost of failure is high. As an initiative to change drags on, the cost to your organisation grows. When the finish line is a moving goalpost, it takes more time, effort, and resources to achieve a clear ‘win’. And as the project go-live date fails to materialise, users become impatient (and exhausted) and will inevitably find workarounds – basically defeating the purpose of improving technology.
By comparison, the cost of success is considerably more cheering. A 2018 report by Hubspot says that 95% of businesses that adopt an ERP record improved performance with their processes. And a 2019 study shows that 82% of enterprises who move to an ERP will achieve a positive ROI on schedule (which, on average, is within 2.5 years).
So, the payoff for ERP implementation success is well worth the effort. But what is the critical lynchpin of success?