Many Enterprise software (ERP/CRM) projects are failing due to this single problem!
During Analysis, Customers often prescribe ‘Solution design’ rather than ‘Requirements’ to ERP Consultants.
You cannot afford to ignore this problem! Otherwise, it can cost you a fortune to complete the project. And, you may get negligible value from your investment.
When you build a house, do you specify every detail to the Builder?
Oh, can I have taps with ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ button? How about ‘Hot’ & ‘Cold’ buttons?
Instead, you choose options from the given Home and Land package. Therefore, the package is your starting point.
Yet, in many Enterprise software implementations, Customers specify the solution to the Consultants.
Oh, can you add a button, so when I click, I get two options?
Poor consultants, trying to please Customers, start customising the standard software. All unnecessary customisations add to the cost, time, and reduce ROI.
If you do not control this, you end up with the over-customised system. It may cost you double the original price and time. You get the little beast that is difficult to support and upgrade.
The Enterprise applications are like Home & Land package. So, get your team (Key Users) to illustrate Business problems, processes, and requirements. Never suggest how the software should meet your needs.
Refer to the following practical tips:
Set a clear expectation on the role of Customer (Key Users) and Consultant:
Key Users should explain existing processes, pain points, and requirements. The Consultant should propose solution options and design. Simple!
Empower consultants to say the right thing and challenge the Key Users:
Many Consultants often believe that – the Customer is always right. Consultants often do not like to confront Key Users. So, they choose the easy path of giving whatever Customer wants. This mentality works against you. It leads to massive customisations, over-budget projects and unpleasant outcomes. Thus, empower Consultants to say and do the right thing.
Familiarise and learn Enterprise software earlier in the project:
Organise standard software navigation, terms, concepts training during project initiation. Encourage your team to learn the software terms and concepts. So, the Key Users and Consultants speak the same language.
Look at the configured software in action:
Encourage Key Users to play with the demo system. If possible, get Consultants to add a subset of your data (Customer, vendors, inventory). It helps Key Users to understand standard operating processes within software. The requirements elicitation phase moves swiftly!
Again, do not underestimate this problem. Take necessary steps to ensure the success of your ERP software implementation.