A Realistic Timeframe To Implement ERP Software




A Realistic Timeframe To Implement ERP Software

Implementing ERP software can be quite like building a house. You have a rough idea of the time from the foundation is poured until you can actually move in. Then a transition time where the house becomes a home—an integrated part of your daily lifestyle.

Still, even after the last box is unpacked, you find yourself making adjustments like walking into closets thinking they are bathrooms. And, if you’ve ever had a house built from the ground up, you already know the timeframe promised from the start to turn-key didn’t quite match your expectations.

This understandably leads to frustration, which is most often wrought from unrealistic expectations. Like building a house, implementing ERP software is based on a lot of variables, seen and unforeseen, at the outset of a project and then throughout. The best way to avoid angst is to approach timeframes realistically.

Unfortunately, there are more than a few ERP sales pitchers who unrealistically pump up expectations by describing how this or that company became fully implemented in just a few short months. And, perhaps said agents weren’t just giving an appealing sales pitch (which is their job), but were the victim of an idealism we’ve all succumbed to at one point or another.

In theory it works; in practice, not so much.

Again there are a lot of variables involved with ERP development ranging from the size of your company, how many subsidiaries and satellites need to be included, what software is currently implemented, how many departments and functions need to be integrated, the sizes and contents of databases, and then, eventually, getting employees situated comfortably in their new IT environments. Those are just known variables; you’ll become aware of more when you consult with a reputable developer.

Knowing what to reasonably expect up front helps thwart the unrealistic expectations which inevitably lead to frustration.

Still, ERP software development is a controversial subject, with ERP vendors promising one timeframe and developers stating another. The internet overflows with conflicting "facts" and even heated arguments about realistic timeframes.

When reputable developers are forced to give arbitrary timeframes, most agree that around 18 to 21 months is reasonable with the caveat that it could be a little more or a little less. Depending on the size and situation of any company it could be 24 months…or six.

Developing ERP software for GM is far different than a medium-sized, family-run company that’s been in business a few years. Hence, different timeframes.

Not to fear, though. There are measures you can take to seize a realistic timeframe. Not a perfectly accurate one, but a realistic one.

  • Make sure implementation times aren’t unnecessarily stalled by selecting the best and most experienced talent to help you reach your ERP development goals.

  • Have a thorough consult or three (as many as you need) with your developer to gain the clearest perspective of timeframes. Choose developers who not only know how to create and code working software confidently, but can benchmark timeframes against the implementation success of other companies.

  • Ask your developer how you can prepare in advance of initiating ERP software development.

When you have an agile development team, timeframes become even more optimistically situated. You are part of the development team and know each process as it unfurls toward completion, so you’re never left in the dark.

Still feeling frustrated? Contact the Intellection Group—they can help. Or give a call at 678-283-4283 for all your custom software needs.

ERPDave Bernard