You and Your ERP Implementation Team – One Is the Loneliest Number

It’s 7:05 a.m. on Monday morning and you’ve been staring at a blank yellow pad for the last 30 minutes.

You are in month 7 of your ERP software implementation.

You know the project…
The one that you fought so hard to get buyoff on,
The one that you stuck your neck out there for.

Perfect timing, your monthly budget vs. actual report was waiting for you when you walked into your office this morning. Not pretty, lots of red ink. You have been spending more than you projected. There is so much more to do…

You now have no doubt that you have to move Go Live out another 6 months.

You will be meeting with your implementation team in 55 minutes.

You know that these men and women are the ones that are going to make or break your implementation. You have that all too familiar sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach. You don’t know what to do next; your mind is a blank…

The team needs direction and they need to be energized, you know you can’t bullshit them. They know you and they know the project. You have to be honest with them and tell them that you are going to recommend the move out…

What will they think? Will they agree? Are you sure you need to do this? You have the final say.

You told yourself and you committed to the team and the shareholders that no matter what … the company will not “Go Live Twice”, meaning that you and your team WILL get it right the first time. The software will work, processes will be defined and tested, people will be trained…

Then you realize for the 500th time…

You know that you can depend on the team for good feedback. You also know that they will set you straight if required… but you know this time that they will agree. The project is not moving as quickly as you and your team had planned.

All you have to do is be open and honest with them. This morning when you walk in to the meeting you will “follow to lead”. You will just give them the facts. Where we are in the project today, where we are supposed to be and where we need to be to Go Live.

As stated earlier, they know you; some of them will know what you are going to say before you say it.

Let them talk, and if the question is… should we postpone Go Live or not, the team will give you the guidance that you need. They have given you the guidance you need so many times before … you know they won’t let you down.

Depend on them; ask for their help in spoken and unspoken ways. You will not be disappointed and your team will be strengthened.

And “yes”, you will Go Live when the time is right.

And “yes” you have to answer to the board or the management team for cost overruns and project delays; there is no denying that fact.  

However, if you and your implementation team are on the same page, if the team “owns” the major decisions, there is consensus on the projects direction, you are on solid ground.

Keeping an ERP project on track is so much more about the people than it is anything else. I know it sounds cliché, but I have found it to be so true…

Its 7:55 a.m., whoa, time warp. You get up from your desk and head for the meeting.

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