July 30, 2012, 5:24 PM — This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.
Major enterprise resource planning (ERP) software upgrades by definition affect your whole organization. The "opportunities" for system failure, lost time, missed revenue and extra cost are abundant during the process. Indeed, there are legends surrounding upgrades that spiral out of control and never get fully implemented.
Avoiding certain pitfalls can help companies function optimally during the implementation period and minimize disrupting your current environment. This is especially important for organizations that are critically reliant on their ERP software but need updates to keep their systems running at full potential.
CAUTIONARY TALES: 10 biggest ERP software failures of 2011
Every company's ERP upgrade may be different, but the missteps stay the same and they can be avoided by focusing on the key action items outlined below.
" Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication with system users has always been a key differentiator between successful and not-so-successful upgrades. Fully explaining the benefits for the company and changes in the end user experience (e.g., green screen to Web client, Windows client to Web client, etc.) prior to the upgrade is critical in ensuring that the whole team supports the implementation.
End users don't like change because it causes them additional work. They would rather deal with the quirks and inefficiencies of an old system than test a new one. If the end user has a bad perception of the upgrade, it will hinder the overall effectiveness of the new system even if the software and hardware are fully functional. Communicate every way you can.
" Conduct comprehensive load-testing