January 29, 2020

Top 5 Reasons Projects Fail Implementing Enterprise Software (and how to fix it)

According to a recent study done in the United States, nearly half of all enterprise software implementations do not meet their objectives. This is a common problem across the board and affects CRM, accounting, and many Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software implementations. A lot of the companies lobbying for new software implementations fall into the same traps.

Although the companies never start off thinking that software implementation will fail, there are a couple of common mistakes that can be avoided during sensitive technological transitions. To complete software implementations in the first go, it is important to be aware of these pitfalls and how to avoid them.

why project failBy proactively working your way through these next software implementation hazards, you can effectively lower project costs, ensure that project schedules are met, and manage expectations regarding the new role of the software being implemented.

Why Projects Fail Implementing Enterprise Software?

Here are the reasons for failure:

  1. Not Having Clear Objectives

It is really important that the reasons behind the new software implementation is being clearly defined and understood, not only by management but also by the staff or clients who will be utilizing the software. Often enough, businesses undertake new technological solutions without properly researching and defining their unique goals and how new enterprise software can help to realize those goals.

However, to define your objectives, it is also important to map out your current company processes to determine where they fall short and how they can be improved upon. By doing this, you will be one step closer to realizing exactly what software you need and able to determine specific software requirements needed to take your business to the next level of optimum functioning.

These next questions are crucial in determining your specific goals:

  • Which current company processes are vital in helping you reach your objectives?
  • Where can you improve on these processes with the aid of the enterprise software?
  • What company processes can be modified to maximize productivity?

How To Fix It?

Make sure that defined objectives are clear and measurable. Through thorough pre-implementation assessments of these objectives, you can accurately determine problem areas and then devise creative solutions to ensure successful technological implementations.

Do a thorough research of your company’s system requirements and the type of enterprise software needed to meet your company’s demands. By asking a lot of questions and weighing enterprise software against one another, you will be able to choose the best product for your company.

  1. A Lack of Communication

Seeing that new software implementation affects multiple teams from management to employees, it is important to prioritize communication throughout the implementation process. Most implementations fail because of inadequate communication between project leaders, software vendors, management, and employees.

To combat this problem, communication checkpoints should be put in place to ensure that everyone is on board with the various stages of the implementation process. Various tools that allow for a constant flow of communication should be utilized, such as regular meetings that update everyone on the progress of the software implementation.

By having these open channels of communication, you increase the chances of stopping any misunderstandings in their tracks, curbing frustrations, and allowing for more creative input during planning stages. Open communication also helps to quicken any new training processes and allows your team to keep each other accountable.

These next questions will help your team to communicate better:

  • Are you setting aside time for communication?
  • Are you utilizing company tools to convey practical and important information?
  • Do you have communication checkpoints that ensure everybody is on-page?

How To Fix It?

Ensure that communication kicks off weeks before the new software implementation sets in. Various company tools, like newsletters and weekly meetings, must support constant communication.

Furthermore, access to documentation on current project progress must be made available to all company staff and open discussions should be encouraged on all matters relating to the use and goals of the new enterprise software.

  1. Hiring an Incompetent Project Manager

Having the right team for the job not only ensures the successful implementation of new enterprise technology but also allows your company to reach its milestones faster. Amongst other things, a deep insight into all departments of your company is necessary to master a new technological transition that makes hiring a competent team and project manager of great importance.

A very knowledgeable project manager can help you to assemble the right project team to handle the software implementation with care. Such a team will need IT staff and key users, all under the guidance of the project manager. Consequently, the role of the project manager cannot be underestimated, as he or she will be responsible for the success or failure of the project’s implementation.

Without the necessary expertise needed to guide, monitor, and motivate the project team, crucial and relevant business areas like marketing, production, purchasing, logistics, and sales may be overlooked during the planning and implementation stage of the new enterprise technology.

These next questions will help you to hire the right project manager:

  • Does the potential project manager have great organizational and business skills?
  • Does the potential project manager have deep insight into all company departments?
  • Is the possible project manager assertive, a good communicator, and socially competent?

How To Fix It?

Hire for skills, qualifications, and expertise alone. Furthermore, make sure that objective reasoning and decision making are implemented during all project team hires to ensure the best success rate for your new technological implementation.

If someone is not living up to their qualifications or are hard to work with, don’t be afraid to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, as the whole project’s success depends on it.

  1. A Lack Of Commitment

To ensure that new enterprise technology is used to its highest potential, it is essential to secure managerial commitment before project implementation is given the green light. In addition to managing employees along with their daily workload, management teams are often overworked and stretched thin across multiple company sectors and projects.

For new technological implementations to be successful, management has to be on board, engaged and has sufficient time and attention to spare to oversee a new project. As enterprise software implementations can’t be automatically monitored, every step along the way requires careful liaison between all managerial departments.

Company culture, attitude, and energy also often originate at a managerial level, which means that tired and overworked management often leads to a strenuous working environment. In other words, if there are simply not enough resources allocated to managerial teams, the chances of successful new technology implementation are next to impossible.

These questions will help you to determine the commitment of your management team:

  • Do your managers have extra time to spare?
  • Does the new project implementation give vocal managerial support?
  • Do you have the required resources to practically ensure successful project implementation?

How To Fix It?

Freeing up necessary resources can help lift some of the burdens of management, enabling them to step more fully into the role of overseeing project implementation. Being aware of the schedules of your managerial team will also help you to form realistic goals regarding their capabilities. Furthermore, showing appreciation for their efforts, maintaining a healthy company culture and encouraging open communication is key in overcoming any project pitfalls.

  1. Fearing Change

Whenever key processes within a company are being changed or adapted to improve productivity, it often leads to a change in roles, responsibilities, and company processes. These big changes will not all be welcomed with open arms, seeing as a lot of employees may already be happy or satisfied with their current company roles.

In other words, resistance or a fear of change is a common reaction to new technological implementations, especially in situations where employees perceive the improvements as a threat to their livelihood.

To mitigate these fears, open communication, workshops, meetings, and in-depth training should be made available to everyone. In ensuring that employees understand the new processes and technology being implemented, they can better communicate their fears and excitement that will help boost company morale.

Questions that will help you assess your employee’s impressions regarding new company software:

  • Do they understand the multi-faceted implications of the new software?
  • Do they understand the software’s goals and positive or negative impacts on the company’s productivity?
  • Do they understand their new role or added responsibilities to their daily workload?

How To Fix It?

Ensure open communication at all times and a thorough discussion on how the new software will affect the company’s performance and the roles or workload of all employees. Furthermore, make sure to address any concerns ahead of time to ensure that it causes minimal damage to the implementation of the enterprise software.

In Conclusion

By paying close attention to all of the above pitfalls you can prevent any mishaps from occurring during a new software implementation.

Although the entire process needs constant monitoring and attention, with the right team at your side and constant open communication, you can ensure proper implementation of enterprise software, which will boost productivity and enable significant growth within your company.

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