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How to increase the number of days required for an ERP project?

By Jean-Baptiste Sachot, 11:57 AM on October 11, 2016


The change of ERP system in a company is a project that needs to be carried out according to a rigorous schedule. However, your carefully laid plans can be upset by two main factors:

  • Extension of the different stages by the client,
  • An increase in the number of days required by the publisher integrating the new software.


And that's when costs start spiralling. If the delay is down to the publisher/integrator, the extra cost is easy to assess, but if it's the client who's got in a muddle, then a double penalty is applied. The employees assigned to the project create additional cost that was not initially planned for and this extra work also prevents them from devoting themselves to billable activity.

Stabilising processes and needs

Usually, an increase in the number of days required for an ERP project comes from a failure to permanently stabilise the project upstream. A need that continues to evolve after the start of implementation is very likely to cause a lengthening of the execution time. Therefore, it is highly advisable to analyse the processes and needs precisely, once and for all, before implementation. The essential features, the must-haves and the practical or comfortable ergonomic options, and the nice-to-haves must all have been precisely defined.

Assessing and planning the sites for which you are responsible

Some tasks are actually the client's responsibility, not the publisher/integrator's, because the latter can neither guess nor anticipate certain specific in-house needs. This is particularly the case with data retrieval and cleaning of existing databases. This is time-consuming work that must be rigorously planned, otherwise the time spent on the project will go out of control.

Precisely define any obstacles

It is highly advisable to be particularly careful when choosing the project team. If the team does not integrate the right key users, if it includes employees who don't use the software every day or who use the bare minimum of its features, or even employees who are resistant to change, the team will have to revised mid-project, which will lengthen the execution time.

Beware of specific development!

Specific development is the sworn enemy of meeting deadlines. It is particularly time-consuming and costly from deployment onwards and each time it is updated. Specific development is the siren song to which you must close your ears, unless you want your implementation time to lengthen: developments, tests, acceptance, training and plenty of other unpleasant surprises...

Ranking the priorities and the imponderable

Scattering is a major source of wasted time. It is your responsibility to precisely define and rank your priorities in relation to the change of ERP project, and then to respect that ranking. For example, if your organisation gives priority to accounting or the budgeting side of the business, start with that and stick to your guns.

See our other advice on improving the management of your ERP project in our dedicated ebook:

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