Project managers are the key drivers of how an organisation implements an enterprise resource planning (ERP) project. Choosing the right methodology is just as important as the right software. Organisations often rely on their implementation partner to make recommendations but it’s wise to know what options are available.
Investing time up front in the right partner to advise on the best methodology for your organisation can mean the difference between a good project and a great one.
When it comes to methodology organisations have a choice of:
- Agile: This method offers adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, which means there can be a more rapid and flexible response to change throughout the implementation
- Waterfall: This method is sequential and linear. The objective is to completely finish each logical step in the development process before moving onto the next. This approach provides customers with security that the project is being delivered as anticipated, as well as transparency across each phase to ensure the project will go-live on time and on budget.
- Express: This method is for out-of-the-box implementations with no customisations. This approach reduces the implementation time and can reduce upfront costs.
While each approach has pros and cons it is essential that the vendor you partner with can recommend an approach that suits your business drivers as well as deliver the best outcome for the project. For example, the express methodology may cost less but may not deliver the best outcomes in terms of functionality and meeting business requirements in the longer term.
The top five areas for consideration when choosing an implementation methodology and partner are:
- Professionalism and methodology: What methodology is being recommended, does this suit the size of your project and what is the potential partner’s track record including their risk management strategy?
- Relevant references: Can the potential partner offer three or four relevant references from the same industry to demonstrate that they can deliver for your business and have experience in doing so?
- Holistic: How well does the project team relate to the potential partner and will the sales team be involved in the implementation? How interested is the potential partner in your business, are they invested in your business outcomes?
- Quality management: What quality processes and documentation are in place that governs any consulting and project methodologies?
- Change management: Does the partner recommend change management, including business process documentation and process-driven training?