Top 10 ERP Implementation Myths Blog Series – Part 3

Source: Vendor Shootout™ for ERP Blog

ERP Implementation Myth Number 3: You will have a no modification policy

Most companies outside of the software industry do not have a core competency in software development, but their existing systems have driven them to do significant amounts of expensive and upgrade-limiting custom development.  If this is you, as you enter the ERP software implementation process you may feel the need to mandate a ‘No Modification’ policy to avoid past mistakes.  As you evaluate ERP software you will become aware that while many ERP products can handle much of your needs, no product may fit you exactly.  Pragmatism will lead you to say that you will change your processes to fit the software, and this might get you through the selection process.  But the realities of a software implementation are different from those of a software selection; and while ‘change the process’ may be a great initial response, it is not sufficient to address real business requirements or the political realities of a software implementation.

A successful implementation will have a reasonable but stringent modification policy.  Any modification policy should require a business case for any modification including an estimate of the cost of initial development, cost of maintenance including any impact on vendor support or future upgrades, alternatives to modification, and the business impact of not modifying the software.  A quick ‘sanity check’ on the reasonableness of any modification request can be done by asking these three questions:

  1. Does it make you more money than it costs?
  2. Does it save you more money than it costs?
  3. Does it drive a competitive advantage that justifies the cost?

If you cannot justify a modification based upon one or more of these simple rules, then you should have a clear argument for a process change instead.

Be sure to subscribe to the Vendor Shootout™ for ERP blog’s RSS feed so that you don’t miss ERP Implementation Myth Number 4:  “All functionality is created equal”.

If you missed Myths #1 and #2, check them out here:

ERP Implementation Myth Number 1:  One size fits all

ERP Implementation Myth Number 2:  Your current system defines your needs

Richard Garraputa, VP Sales and Marketing,  brij Image and Information

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