Why an ERP implementation should not take too long

Everyone knows the stories from the media about endless implementations of ERP software. Or maybe you have experienced one yourself, like I did. An implementation that takes years and in which the go-live date is constantly being postponed. The problems that occur in these projects are diverse, but what they have in common is that the problems all have a delaying effect on their own. Causing the project to take even longer and making the quality of the final product not necessarily better, but possibly even worse.

Project fatigue

Key users are very important assets during an implementation. They start the project with the idea that it will take several months. When the project is taking a bit longer, that is still manageable, and people will still be able to focus. But after the umpteenth change of the planning and postponement of the go-live, project fatigue arises. The attention and motivation of people are harmed. While a broad support and the right spirit are crucial for a successful ERP implementation.

Change of scope

Also problematic are the changes that take place continuously. Changes within the company itself or in the industry in which the company operates. As a result, the principles often change during long-term projects. These changed principles remove the foundation on which previous decisions are based. In addition to the principles, it often means the scope changes as well, so that after a while nobody can oversee the whole project anymore. Therefore, keep projects limited in terms of lead time, at most about eight months. Everyone can oversee that, and people remain focused. Limiting the lead time might require you to limit the scope. After all, you have set a clear go-live date. But is that a bad thing? No, because it forces you to think about what is essential for the go-live.


And you will implement everything that you have kept outside the initial project scope in the next phase. Or it will be canceled, because it turns out to be less essential than expected. It is also wise for these follow-up projects to limit the lead time and scope. That way you achieve the best result.

Peter Gerhardt is Senior Lead Consultant Logistics at Dysel and helps customers achieve maximum results with business software.