Decision-making in the ERP implementation

18/08/2017 - Luuk Busschers

An ERP implementation is not just about software. Much more important are the business processes in your organization. A new ERP system can help you work more efficiently, provide better service or gain more insight into the business. But ultimately you and your colleagues decide on the work procedures. And that means you have to take decisions.

Bad decision-making slows down the implementation

During the ERP implementation, the project group faces various choices regarding the business processes. Do you turn right or left? Each and every choice has advantages and disadvantages with a big impact on the daily operations. This makes it difficult to take decisions. Ultimately, you will have to decide, and though it is important to consider all pros and cons, it is also important that you do not spend too much time on this, because bad decision-making or no decision at all slows down your implementation project. In the absence of a choice regarding how to handle a particular process, the setup, training and testing of the process cannot be continued.

Who makes the decision?

It is wise to discuss about important decisions in order to come to the best solution for the entire organization. But eventually there must be someone who has the mandate to make the final decision. Make sure to have clear agreements on which mandate is assigned to which person at what level in the organization. This enables quick decision-making and clarifies to which persons permissions need to be asked, so that you do not unnecessarily slow down the project. The focus can then be on the actual work in the implementation rather than waiting for decision-making.

Select the right key users

The mandate to make decisions asks for responsibility and demands certain qualities and knowledge of your employees. It is likely that you would like to give your key users the mandate to make decisions on topics related to their own department. Therefore, select key users who can handle this responsibility and have sufficient knowledge of the organization and the processes to make the right decision. In doing so, they should not only consider their own department, but make the decision that, based on the consideration of all factors, is best for the entire organization. In addition, it is important to take into account that not too much responsibility is removed from users, because of the involvement in the project they should have.

Manage where necessary

Is your decision-making process in the ERP implementation not running smoothly? Be sure to act on this in cooperation with your software partner. For example during a steering group meeting with members of both your organization and the software partner. It might be necessary to make decisions at the board level. Or new agreements on the decision-making are required. Or the conclusion can be that one of the key users does not have the required level of skills or knowledge and therefore needs to be replaced. Do not wait too long with such measures, as it complicates the ERP implementation, which negatively impacts your entire organization.

Luuk Busschers is Consultant at Dysel and helps customers to achieve their goals by using industry-specific ERP software. 

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