You can’t afford to skimp on scoping your ERP implementation project13 May 2020 | by Brett Mundell
We explain why getting your ERP implementation project off to a great start is dependent on great scoping.
Implementing a new enterprise system is never about the technology alone. Technology investments are made to support the business strategy.
How well you execute the implementation and adoption of new business systems has a direct impact on your ability to execute your strategic vision.
In many cases, great execution hinges on the work that’s done up-front to define the parameters of the project and the methodology required to deliver the project successfully. This work is called scoping.
Scoping projects with skill ensures you can:
- Break high-level goals down into practical deliverables
- Articulate the features and functions to be included in the system
- Describe how the functionality aligns to business structure/processes
- Clearly document milestones and tasks to drive effective delivery
- Establish a realistic schedule and deadlines to maintain momentum
- Identify and allocate the people/resources needed at each stage
- Agree on how changes and issues will be managed
- Determine what’s achievable within the project budget
Achieving strategic goals stems from a clear scope
One of the key benefits of defining the scope is that it brings your team together. Typically, business owners, executives and department managers need to meet to discuss the future state that your business is working towards—what business outcomes do you want to achieve by adopting a modern ERP solution?
Then, to truly understand what’s practically involved in achieving those outcomes, an organisation’s leadership has to delve into how things currently work, where the bottlenecks and inefficiencies are, and how the business could function better (driven by the technologies being implemented).
Sometimes, the act of examining business operations in detail leads to surprising revelations. Your team may be able to tackle long-standing problems that can be addressed through the adoption of new approaches and software features.
A thoughtful and collaborative approach to planning can also flow through into the delivery and governance of the project. Engaging stakeholders such as business leaders is an important aspect of good project management.
There are a lot of moving parts to a major IT systems upgrade. When key staff across your business understand what needs to happen and why, how it involves or affects their team, and feel personally invested in achieving the planned outcomes—it puts your project on the right footing from the beginning.
Detailed scoping underpins better project management
Project management includes the processes and people involved in keeping a project on track—ensuring that tasks are delivered within the agreed timeframe and budget, to a high standard, and in a way that actually meets high-level business objectives.
It’s not easy to deliver high-quality outcomes on time and on budget. Even when you do, the result you end up with doesn’t always achieve the goals you had in mind.
A 2019 survey of project management professionals in Australia and around the world found that less than half of organisations (44%) are likely to deliver projects that meet the original goal and business intent.
Preparation helps, which is why comprehensive scoping is necessary. When you develop a granular project scope, your project management team gains a better handle on requirements, constraints, and the purpose of the project. They know what outcomes will signal that the project has been a success.
A well-defined scope doesn’t mean that everything will go exactly to plan during project delivery. What it does mean, is that project managers and governance committees know precisely where their priorities lie—which helps ensure your project isn’t derailed if and when challenges or changes arise.
Effective scoping of your ERP implementation reduces risk
The project scope is an indispensable planning tool—it gives everyone involved in the project a clearer picture of what’s important, and what’s not. If people don’t know what tasks and outcomes fall within the purview of the project, they’re more likely to be confused or distracted.
ERP implementations are more likely to fail or experience budget and time overruns when the stakeholders involved aren’t working towards the right goals in a coordinated way.
Reducing your risk is also the reason it makes sense to work with an experienced external partner to develop your project scope. Scoping is a core aspect of Leverage Technologies’ software consulting services—we’ve supported hundreds of SMEs to make confident decisions.
We believe so strongly in the importance of scoping—as a means to set the right direction, and to build rapport with prospective clients—that we offer a free requirements analysis to kick-start your scoping.
When you work with Leverage Technologies to undertake a free requirements analysis, together we’ll develop a scoping document that includes:
- The project’s goals and desired business benefits
- Personnel requirements and responsibilities (for both of our teams)
- A review of functionality that will be delivered
- Project budgets, timelines, and key steps
Within a short period, you’ll have a costed proposal that lays the foundation for successful project delivery. You can also seamlessly transition into project delivery with Leverage Technologies at the helm—if you choose—and feel assured that you’re working with an implementation team that understands your scope and has the technical and communication skills to expertly deliver your new ERP solution.
Get professional help to scope your project to ensure you can embed your new ERP solution effectively and efficiently. Talk to a Leverage Technologies consultant today to book your free requirements analysis.
Brett has more than 20 years of business software sales and company management experience. Brett has been involved in more than 300 ERP projects. His passion is customer satisfaction, making sure every client is more than just satisfied. Brett wants our customers to be driven to refer their friends and peers because we offer the best services and technology available and because we exceeded their expectations.