9 Critical Success Factors in ERP Implementation

This blog review of Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP Implementation procedures and critical success factors. Now the ERP use is generally common in big corporations and even SME’s are using various available ERP packages. But not every company gets the return from using the ERP system. I have been part of 3 different ERP systems and in my experience companies are failing to set up the ERP system because they cannot reach the predetermined goal. The ERP is not only a technology that support the management but also a way of the management. ERP provides many benefits but in nutshell any ERP system provides two major benefits that do not exist in non-integrated departmental systems:


  • A unified enterprise view of the business that encompasses all functions and departments; and.
  • An enterprise database where all business transactions are entered, recorded, processed, monitored,
ERP Implementation

Picture courtest of Simon Pickering from Flicker

My experience suggests 9 critical factors for the successful ERP implementation:

  1. Clear understanding of strategic goals
  2. Commitment by top management
  3. Excellent project management
  4. Organizational change management
  5. A great implementation team
  6. Data accuracy
  7. Extensive education and training
  8. Focused performance measures
  9. Multi-site issues

So from these critical factors, we can find that a successful implementation of the ERP system is not only set up a technology support of the information system, but also change the way of management. Successful ERP implementation requires the organization engage in excellent project management. This includes a clear definition of objectives, development of both a work plan and a resource plan, and careful tracking of project progress. And the project plan should establish aggressive, but achievable, schedules that instill and maintain a sense of urgency. A clear definition of project objectives and a clear plan will help the organization avoid the all-too-common ‘‘scope creep’’ which can strain. From this part, we can find that the ERP system is an information system. It is in charge of the collection, storage and supply of the information. But the critical factor of the successful is not how to build the information system but how to use the information that we get from the information system.

Unfortunately, some companies view ERP implementation as simply a software system and the implementation of ERP as primarily a technological challenge. They do not understand that ERP implementation may fundamentally change the way in which the organization operates. This is one of the problematic issues facing current ERP systems. I think the reason why ERP implementation fail is generally due to poor planning or poor project management, change in business goals during the project, and lack of business management support are the top three reasons for the failure of IT-related projects cited by IT managers. I believe that the main reason why implement fail is not the failure of the ERP system itself but the usage of the ERP system.

How to choose an ERP system?

How to choose an ERP system which is adopted to the company is very difficult and there are no fix standard criteria available to decide. The key steps to choose the ERP system from available choices:

  1. Create the vision.
  2. Create a feature/function list.
  3. Create a software candidate list.
  4. Narrow the field to four to six serious candidates.
  5. Create the request for proposal (RFP).
  6. Review the proposals.
  7. Select two or three finalists.
  8. Have the finalists demonstrate their packages.
  9. Select the winner.
  10. Justify the investment.
  11. Negotiate the contract.
  12. Run a pre-implementation pilot.
  13. Validate the justification.

11 recommended steps for a successful implementation

ERP systems can be complex and difficult to implement, but a structured and disciplined approach can greatly facilitate the implementation. Here are 11 recommended steps for a successful ERP implementation:

  1. Review the pre-implementation process to date.
  2. Install and test any new hardware.
  3. Install the software and perform the computer room pilot.
  4. Attend system training.
  5. Train on the conference room pilot.
  6. Establish security and necessary permissions.
  7. Ensure that all data bridges are sufficiently robust and the data are sufficiently accurate.
  8. Document policies and procedures.
  9. Bring the entire organization on-line, either in a total cutover or in a phased approach.
  10. Celebrate.
  11. Improve continually.

The ERP system is a complex system, and it is a hard job to implement the ERP system successfully. The second question is why. Why we need the ERP system. What can be brought by the ERP system?

The ERP system including the finance management, Supply Chain anagement and human resource management. So the implement of the ERP system should be the change of the whole company management. It is better to hire a professional consulting company to do the case. They can help you to analysis your business, and they are familiar with the different ERP system. So by reading this article, we can find the key factor of the successful implementation of the ERP system. That is looking the ERP system as the innovation of the company management. Not only look the ERP system as software can make any decision.

Dr. Muddassir Ahmed