Meta Group warns of mistakes with ERP planning

Meta Group has said that ERP implementations need constant planning and revisions after going live, to make sure they deliver the business value they promise.

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By  Guy Mathew Published  June 11, 2002

Meta Group has said that ERP implementations need constant planning and revisions after going live, to make sure they deliver the business value they promise.

The analyst house’s report mentions a number of mistakes that organisations tend to make that lead to ERP implementations providing minimal or non-existent benefits. Chief among these are disbanding the implementation team, resistance to the necessary cuts in the IT department, customising the solution too far to take advantage of future developments and not getting rid of legacy systems that have been superceded.

“The ERP companies and systems integrators take the customer to day one of the actual ERP operations and then stop,” said Michael Doane, analyst at Meta Group. “They start with goal setting to define the desired end point, but offer no methodology for periodically reconsidering the goals and how to reach them after the initial installation and customisation process is complete.”

The report mentions that many ERP implementations seem to actually make businesses less flexible. The answer to this is to face up to the challenge of ‘making a conscious decision to improve a system that does not seem to be broken’ according to Doane.

Another recommendation Meta Group makes is that ongoing ERP groups should not be considered part of the IT department but as a business group to lessen continued customisation and to improve the response of managers who are not interested in IT.

Doane ends with a warning: “Few operational groups are prepared to manage 90 to 180 instances of the ERP system running in different systems and geographies, but that is what some Global 2000 companies have experienced. It becomes a management nightmare.”

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