Top 10 Worst ERP Project Practices

  • by George Anderson, Senior Director & GPE, Microsoft Services
  • John Dobbins, SAP Basis Project Lead
  • April 11, 2014
George Anderson and John Dobbins warn against 10 mistakes they continue to see made in ERP projects.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article you will learn how to:

  • Take precautions to avoid 10 common failed practices
  • Benefit from other companies’ lessons learned

Key Concept

Four dimensions are at play when you make choices in an ERP project: time, scope, quality, and cost (all atop a risk management foundation).

We have tremendous respect for CIOs and business leaders who take on an ERP project. After all, it’s easy to avoid such massive undertakings in favor of quick wins or incremental IT transformation. ERP projects require a ton of perseverance, time, resources, and flexibility. They’re hard, and there’s no getting around it.

There’s also no way of getting around the fact that companies tackling an ERP project need help. Whether they completed one 10 years ago or never, businesses simply don’t specialize in ERP. Sure, they can hire a few experienced people and talk to their fellow colleagues. They can attend training and scour the Web for insight but businesses are not and arguably should probably never be ERP experts. That’s not why they’re in business. Instead, smart businesses need to look to others for help. They need experts to provide guidance and in-the-trenches know-how gained through the pain of previous ERP projects. Ah, but it’s not just a little help that’s required, as we’ll cover later.

George Anderson

As a senior director and global program executive for an arm of Microsoft's consulting business, Dr. George Anderson leads teams of program and project managers, architects, and enterprise consulting professionals tasked with deploying various ERP solutions and other business applications. He’s co-authored several books including SAP Implementation Unleashed and the Teach Yourself SAP in 24 Hours series, serves as an adjunct professor teaching various project management and systems analysis courses, and holds a number of credentials including PMI PMP and several SAP and Microsoft certifications alongside a PhD in leadership/organizational change, an MBA with a concentration in Human Resource Management, and a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

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John Dobbins

John Dobbins is an independent senior SAP Basis architect, business consultant, and global project manager with 20 years of enterprise IT business experience. John supports multiple SAP customers and projects around the world, spanning new implementations, functional and technical upgrades, OS/DB platform migrations, and more. His passions for technology architecture and customer enablement intersect well with his customers’ needs to streamline business processes and create agile solutions.

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