6 hard-hitting tips to navigate ERP minefields

Fellow ZDNet blogger, Dennis Howlett, an accountant by profession and enterprise software stalwart if ever there was one, has turned his attention full-bore to IT failures with six great tips!

Fellow ZDNet blogger, Dennis Howlett, an accountant by profession and enterprise software stalwart if ever there was one, has turned his attention full-bore to IT failures.

In a post on the subject of failure, Dennis presents six important ideas to help technology buyers navigate the enterprise software minefield:

  • If your ERP is going pear shaped, it is better to seek help now rather than try continue swimming in mud.
  • Use your industry peers. They will talk reality.
  • If that means a brutal assessment then go for it. It only need happen once and you’ll thank the bringer of bad news. Management will also appreciate your honesty.
  • Make sure the people you’re hiring have got the stones to stand up to the implementers AND the vendors. That could mean some tough talk but should mean a better outcome.
  • Make sure the people you hire are truly independent and do not make their primary living from scratching the vendors’ or implementers’ backs. That could be tricky but there’s a few names to play with here.
  • As [Erik] Kimberling says: never be afraid to say ‘No’ and stand your ground.
  • Get your vendor and implementer to understand you’re looking for a partnership - not a transaction. If all they see are dollar signs then it’s fair to say you’re on your own. That’s not a good place to be on any project.

THE PROJECT FAILURES ANALYSIS

Dennis suggests that ERP buyers take a realistic, and sometimes tough, stance when negotiating with both services and technology vendors. He also recommends buyers honestly examine their own organization's maturity and ability to absorb new technology. Sage advice from a guy who's been around the block a few times.

The three-way partnership between buyer, technology vendor, and services provider isn't going anywhere soon. Therefore, implementation success depends on all three working together.

As Dennis correctly states, the magic words are, "partnership, not transaction."

[Minefield warning sign via Silver Bear Cafe.]

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