ERP consulting and project management resources

There are many reasons why ERP consulting resources are required for an implementation project. You may not need to outsource the complete project but you may need help in areas where you have limited resources or for which there is insufficient expertise in-house.

Examine carefully all of the components of the ERP project for which you might need assistance, especially if this is a major investment for your organization, such as a SAP ERP system. Will you need consulting for the overall project management? What about the business process analysis? Who will provide training on the ERP software? Do you have DBA expertise in house?

One of the first steps that any consultant should take is to ask a lot of questions about the operation - organizational hierarchy, number of employees, types of products or services, production schedules, total sales, etc. etc. The next set of questions should relate to the business process that drives the operation.

As an ERP consultant, the response that I receive to this type of preliminary due diligence tells me whether or not a company is ready to undertake implementation of an integrated ERP system.

It is amazing how little some companies know about their own organization and how difficult it is for them to produce the information when requested!

In my experience, at least six out of ten companies do not have a clearly defined business process. In other words, they have departments working independently of each other, not really knowing how the operation functions as a whole.

How does this impact an ERP implementation? Six out of ten implementations will take longer, will require more resources and additional ERP consulting post implementation!

Do It Yourself Advice

Before choosing an ERP software solution, before planning an ERP implementation and before calling on ERP consulting services - take inventory. Be able to answer all those questions about your operation for your own benefit and be completely knowledgeable about the process that drives the daily business.

Armed with this knowledge you can start the ERP software selection process and when you find a potential solution, call on a knowledgeable consultant to do a fit and gap analysis.

Once the software selection has been made and the ERP implementation is in the planning stage, think hard before outsourcing mission critical components of the implementation. Your team needs to own as much in-depth knowledge of the new system as humanly possible.

Project Management

High profile project management consulting organizations have their pros and cons. Their strength is that they have managed multiple projects, know a variety of ERP software systems and have extensive project experience.

The advantage of using ERP project management consulting is that they can plan the ERP implementation from start to finish, including full risk analysis, timeline development, and contingency planning.

They also have the responsibility of developing key project milestones and ensuring that they are met.

They will ensure the project stays on track and finishes on time so that you can feel confident that the ERP implementation is proceeding as planned.

But a few cautions when outsourcing ERP project management to a consulting organization. They may know a few major ERP software systems well and only the basics of other systems.

Realistically project management organizations cannot have resources on staff for every ERP, or CRM or business intelligence system out there.

If you retain the services of a project management organization, you do not want them learning the ERP software at your expense. With the cost and complexity of a major implementation, you cannot afford to have consultants involved who are only one page ahead of you in the user manuals.

Due Diligence is the key

There are genuinely excellent project management and ERP consulting resources out there. You just need to take your time carrying out extensive due diligence on their previous experience. Ask for references from organizations where the consultant has successfully completed projects. Look for client testimonials on their websites.

I can help

Do you want more information on ERP consulting, or some guidance on software selection, or in planning an implementation project?

Contact me and I will be glad to answer your questions, provide some free advice, or consulting assistance.


Barbara Craven

Box 433, Enderby BC Canada V0E 1V0 250-838-6358

Project Management links that are worth checking out

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