How to Prevent Scope Creep From Hindering an ERP Implementation

Prevent scope creep from derailing your ERP implementation project with these top tips from the Microsoft-certified consulting experts at ICS.

An expertly planned and managed ERP implementation can have an enormously positive impact on a company’s growth. However, effective project management is crucial to prevent some of the common barriers to ERP implementation success; such as scope creep.

Here, we discuss scope creep, why it’s so harmful to ERP projects and how to prevent it from derailing your ERP implementation.

What Is Scope Creep and Why Is It So Harmful?

'Scope creep' is the term used to describe a project that keeps evolving and expanding beyond its initial brief. This might happen as a result of many factors, e.g. unclear or vague user requirements, changing objectives, a poorly established implementation plan, etc.

When ERP projects grow larger than their pre-defined scope, businesses face an increased risk of missing important deadlines and accruing additional costs. Unfortunately, overspending is a common ERP issue; 2019 research found that 38% of ERP implementation projects exceed their initial budget.

To prevent scope creep and the pitfalls associated with it, ERP project managers should consider the following.

How to Prevent Scope Creep From Hindering Your ERP Implementation

Set Realistic Project Objectives

An essential part of any profitable ERP project is a set of realistic objectives. Having clear goals in mind and knowing exactly how you plan to achieve them can help you stay on track as the project develops.

After confirming your objectives – which means establishing deliverables and key performance indicators (KPIs) – you will have a roadmap to guide your project. You can then use this information when reacting to unforeseen circumstances and deciding whether or not to accept proposed changes.

Straighten Out Your Priorities

It can be tempting to keep tweaking your ERP project as the needs of your business change, and in some cases, doing so could have great results. Nevertheless, customising your software or adjusting commercial processes too frequently is likely to result in scope creep.

Prevent this by clarifying your priorities before the project begins. You should also appoint a project manager to be in charge of authorising new changes and making sure they align with the overarching requirements of the implementation.

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Communication is imperative to a successful project, but it must be voiced through the correct channels to prevent scope creep. Instead of having multiple team members sharing their ideas with your ERP developers, create smaller groups to be managed by one executive.

It should be their responsibility to approve or deny requests, such as software customisations, and to communicate with your system developers when changes should be made.

Hire an Experienced ERP Consultant

The most effective way to prevent scope creep from impeding the success of your ERP implementation is to hire an ERP consultant. An experienced enterprise resource planning consultant will be well-equipped to help you set realistic objectives, identify the risk of going over budget and guide you towards making the most sensible decisions for the future of your company.

When you work with an ERP consultant from ICS, you can rest assured that your project will benefit from our first-hand experience in implementing and managing profitable enterprise IT solutions.

Prevent Scope Creep From Impacting Your ERP Implementation With Help From ICS

To achieve the best results from your Microsoft Dynamics AX/D365FO implementation and avoid costly challenges, including scope creep, contact the consultants at ICS. No matter the scale or complexity of your project, our Microsoft-certified developers and consultants are here to support your business. Contact us today to learn more.