How to Define Clear ERP Implementation Objectives

Clearly defined objectives are a key part of every successful ERP implementation project. Here’s how to drive your business forward with realistic goals.

A crucial component of any successful ERP implementation is a list of well-defined and carefully considered objectives. If you don’t know what you want your organisation to achieve, it will be difficult – if not impossible – to establish and manage an ERP project with solid return on investment (ROI). Without clear objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs), your project may be vulnerable to a host of challenges, including scope creep, which we’ve covered in our earlier blog post.

To help you define clear objectives for your ERP implementation, take the following recommendations into account.

Consider Past Failures and Successes

Before you set objectives for your project, consider what has and hasn’t worked for your organisation in the past. Learning from past mistakes could help you to avoid making the same errors again. This step is especially important if your business has previously struggled with successful ERP implementation. Considering the impact of any software deployment on your commercial success is sensible when establishing objectives for an upcoming project.

Establish a Project Budget and Deadline

Establishing budgets and deadlines is an essential part of setting realistic ERP goals. Analysing your financial and time requirements will allow you to pursue objectives with a much more pragmatic, data-backed approach. With this information, your organisation is much better equipped to distinguish between achievable and impractical goals. You may need to reevaluate the budget and deadline of your project as it evolves, but most ERP consultants will advise that you approximate beforehand.

Involve All Key Stakeholders

Here, by key stakeholders, we mean your company’s senior and middle management who will be directly affected by the ERP system once it’s implemented. The introduction of a new corporate IT software is a big organisational change; therefore, heads of the main business processes should be involved as much as possible in defining ERP implementation objectives to ensure they get what they actually need. The lack of key departments’ involvement early in the process and a poor understanding of their needs and expectations can significantly increase both the implementation time and the ROI period for the new system.

Define the Difference Between Want and Need

ERP implementation projects can be exciting! There are myriad software packages to consider, modules to explore and solutions to customise. As a result, it can be tempting to get caught up in the ERP functionalities you want, instead of focusing on the successful implementation of the ERP functionalities you need.

Before your project begins, think carefully about the history of your objectives and clearly distinguish between must-have features that the company needs to run its daily operations and 'nice-to-haves' that you could roll out in the future. It’s important to decide which objectives will benefit your organisation and which are inspired by a desire to transform your whole business structure too quickly.

Consider the Needs of Your Industry

To help you identify the needs of your company, it pays to consider the requirements of your industry more generally. Assessing the competition and learning from their strengths and weaknesses is invaluable! Undertaking this research will not only help you set realistic objectives but also establish which KPIs you need to measure. Once you know what industry-leading companies value as metrics of success, you can consider whether a similar model might work for your business.

Work With Experienced ERP Consultants

In addition to evaluating and learning from your competitors, you should seek the advice of established ERP consultants. ERP experts bring their first-hand experience in planning and managing successful projects to help you define clear objectives that reap tangible rewards. Instead of investing money into a software solution you don’t fully understand, learn from specialists with the expertise to help you win.

Strive For ERP Implementation Success With ICS

To increase your chances of running a profitable, results-driven ERP project, don’t hesitate to contact the team at ICS. As industry-leading ERP consultants specialising in MS Dynamics ERP solutions (AX and D365FO), we are committed to helping our clients make the most from their digital transformations.