Identification of Necessary Factors for Successful Implementation of ERP Systems

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Abstract

The identification of factors which are necessary for successful implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is of great importance to many organizations. ERP systems have to be configured and implemented, often by a team of business analysts and consultants over a period of months or years. The process is lengthy and expensive, and may include extensive business process re-engineering. Given that the investment in these systems, including both the package and associated implementation costs, is measured in millions of dollars, failure to meet deadlines and budgets may result in substantial company loss. However, the literature on the ERP implementation process, and the factors which either facilitate or impede its progress, is not extensive. This research reports the first stage of a research program which seeks to understand successful implementation of ERP systems. The objective, of the first phase was to identify what factors are necessary for successful ERP implementation, where success is understood as adherence to time and budgetary constraints. To accomplish this objective the authors studied 42 implementation projects by interviewing 10 senior members of multiple’ ERP implementation teams. Based on these interviews, 10 candidate necessary factors for successful implementation of ERP systems are identified. Of these 10, three are of paramount importance. They are management support of the project team and of the implementation process, a project team which has the appropriate balance of business and technical skills, and commitment to the change by all stakeholders. The next phase of the research will involve in-depth case studies to explore the relationship between these factors and broader contextual and process issues.