Posted by Robert Half Technology on Friday, January 17, 2014 - 08:01 | Follow me
Big projects with big dollars on the line carry big risks. That’s a given. Example: your boss wants you to consider an Oracle ERP solution.
In addition, you must plan for cloud integration points and be ready to answer the question, “Does it make sense to move company data to the cloud?” That’s enough to make anyone’s blood pressure rise.
What can you do to keep your Oracle ERP implementation project from going off the rails? Take the best of the best practices from software and business lifecycle planning. Consider a modular deployment approach. Above all else, get back to the basics.
1. Don’t Skip the Fundamentals
A common theme emerges from reviewing what goes wrong with large-scale software deployments: people matter.
As a manager, your job is to keep the project team working toward the stated business goals, on budget and on schedule. But you also need to be sure the executives who assigned you this work understand what’s happening and that the employees whose jobs will change as a result of the rollout have their say, too.
Since there is no way for you alone to do all the work that goes into an Oracle ERP solution, you need a team ready and able to move the initiative forward. And for that you need a playbook that outlines your strategy for getting the resources you need, what tasks to tackle during which phase, and how you will determine whether to advance to the next phase or not. To better understand the Oracle applications implementation lifecycle, see these three blog posts by Tom Ferrero, who has overseen Oracle projects in more than 40 countries: part I, part II, and part III.
2. Keep One Eye on the ROI
Another critical basic for success is the ability to measure ROI, or at least gauge when the costs of an Oracle ERP implementation will be recouped. Take a look at these issues:
- Does your company have key performance indicators in place?
- Do you know what the business spends on capital and operational expenses in the functional areas this system will affect?
- Do you know what your company spends annually for information technology, including vendor or consultant fees?
- In what ways, specifically, will an Oracle ERP solution save the company money?
- How will the new solution create efficiencies that lead to increased revenue?
- Are you clear about license fees? Can you negotiate some of these down?
Make sure collecting and analyzing such details is part of your plan. Without them, you might be among those who could have some explaining to do about cost overruns.
3. That Glass Is Half-Full
Moving ahead with an Oracle ERP deployment, be it an upgrade or a new implementation, will transform your company’s business processes. This kind of change sometimes results in worse delays for ERP implementations than the actual technology problems. But change doesn’t have to sting.
Success can be as simple as putting into practice those best-of tactics you already know:
- Know who’s the boss – When multiple stakeholders are involved, it’s especially important to get clear on this as early as possible.
- Communicate – Check in regularly with your team, your managers and future solution users.
- Be prepared to retrain or rebuild your team along the way – You may not have the staff you need in-house.
If you need to bring in new employees or a temporary project team for an Oracle ERP implementation or other IT project, let us help.