Navigating an ERP Project on Hold With Proactive Strategies
Stalled enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects can be a significant challenge for organizations, potentially disrupting business operations and leading to wasted resources. But with your project on hold, it’s critical to minimize the impact and regain your momentum. In this blog post, we will explore 6 steps that can help effectively address stalled projects and ensure a successful outcome.
Project Management for Enterprise Software Implementation Guide
Learn the basic of project management and what your project team must do for your project to be successful.
- Identify the cause of stalled ERP projects and assess their impact.
- Align project goals with strategic initiatives, coach teams through change, leverage independent expertise for data management during a standstill.
- Review implementation plan & set expectations to ensure successful rollout of ERP system.
Understanding the Pause: Why ERP Projects Stall
ERP projects may stall for various reasons, such as lack of resources, insufficient leadership commitment, or poor software fit. Addressing and progressing stalled ERP projects requires identifying the cause of the hiatus.
Many manufacturing and distribution organizations put an ERP project on hold for a variety of reasons. It could be that the needed resources are not available for such a major undertaking. An enterprise technology project demands that all units of the organization are ready to apply funding, staffing, IT and other resources for a range of activities – from system requirements gathering to change management.
We’ve also seen projects go on hold due to lack of executive support or company leadership transitions. Other extenuating circumstances affecting ERP projects include new ownership of the company, competing IT initiatives, or capital investments required in other areas of the operation.
Assessing the Impact and Planning Next Steps
Assessing the impact and planning next steps is a necessary measure to get a stalled ERP project back on track. This involves evaluating the current project status, setting proper expectations for resuming the project, and aligning ERP goals with the company’s strategic initiatives.
The subsequent sections will detail these aspects, including insights and guidance to address the challenges of a stalled project.
1. Evaluate Current Project Status
Assessing the current project status is an important step in understanding the impact of the pause. Various methods may be employed for assessing the current status of a stalled ERP project from a project success standpoint, such as audits and reviews, evaluation of the current state, and feature and functionality analysis.
Evaluating the current project status helps identify:
- Gaps and areas for improvement
- A clear view of the work required when the project resumes
- Awareness of progress and any issues that have arisen during the pause
This ultimately leads to a smoother transition when the project restarts.
2. Align ERP Project Goals With Company’s Strategic Initiatives
To keep the project relevant and ensure it contributes to the organization’s overall success, ERP project goals should align with the company’s strategic initiatives. This involves:
- Assessing the current state of the organization and its processes
- Setting clear and specific goals for the ERP system that align with the overall business objectives
- Performing thorough risk assessments of current processes, systems, and tools.
When the ERP project goals are aligned with the company’s strategic initiatives, both the project team and the organization can move forward with confidence, knowing that the new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system will support their business objectives and drive future growth.
Reinforcing Team Dynamics During Downtime
To ensure the ERP project resumes smoothly, maintaining team dynamics during downtime is instrumental. This involves coaching teams through change, regrouping and realigning ERP project team roles, and understanding competing initiatives that may affect the project’s progress.
3. Regroup and Realign Project Team Roles
Regrouping and realigning project team roles during downtime ensures that everyone is clear on their responsibilities and can effectively contribute to the project’s success. To achieve project team alignment, it’s important to:
- Assess the situation
- Prioritize tasks
- Adjust timelines and milestones
- Open up communication among team members
By following these strategies, project teams can effectively regroup and realign their roles during downtime, optimizing productivity and minimizing delays. This will help ensure project team alignment and contribute to the overall success of the ERP implementation.
Data Management During a Standstill
During a standstill, it’s crucial to begin ERP data management to ensure the dataset is clean and accurate when the project resumes. This involves reviewing past communications and data governance activities, as well as removing obsolete data.
Removing obsolete data from the ERP system is an important step in ensuring that the system will be working with accurate and up-to-date information, leading to better decision-making and improved efficiency. Identifying and eliminating obsolete data can be achieved through various strategies, such as reviewing historical sales data, conducting regular inventory audits, and assessing data quality in the ERP system.
With a clean and accurate dataset in place, organizations can be confident that their ERP system will support their business objectives and drive future growth. This attention to data management during downtime can significantly contribute to the overall success of the ERP implementation.
Preparing for a Strong Restart
Reviewing and updating the implementation plan, confirming infrastructure and system readiness, and setting expectations for a successful rollout are necessary steps to ensure a strong project restart.
4. Review and Update the Implementation Plan
For the project to remain on track and account for any changes during the pause, reviewing and updating the implementation plan is necessary. This involves:
- Assessing the existing systems
- Defining project scope and goals
- Selecting software
- Configuring systems
- Migrating and preparing data
- Planning and organizing
- Making ongoing improvements and soliciting feedback.
5. Set Expectations for a Successful Rollout
To manage stakeholders’ expectations and prepare everyone for changes that come with ERP implementation, setting expectations for a successful rollout is important. This involves:
- Defining the scope and goals of the project
- Prioritizing essential features and functionalities
- Creating a project team and assigning responsibilities
- Assessing and documenting current processes
- Selecting the appropriate ERP system that aligns with the goals
- Developing a comprehensive implementation plan with tasks and timelines.
6. Leverage Independent Expertise
Independent expertise can offer useful insights and guidance to address challenges faced during a stalled ERP project and contribute to a successful implementation. Independent ERP experts can offer several advantages, such as:
- Emphasizing customer requirements
- Possessing industry knowledge
- Taking an impartial approach
- Ensuring timely implementation
- Reducing risk
ERP Project On Hold? Learn More
We’ve touched on only a few activities to keep in mind with an ERP project on hold. Remember, a stalled ERP project doesn’t have to mean failure. With the right approach and proactive strategies, you can turn a challenging situation into an opportunity for growth and success, ultimately leading to a more efficient, effective, and streamlined organization.
Contact the Ultra team to discuss your current project requirements, even if your organization is in a holding pattern.