From the ERP and More! Blog – the top 7 ERP Implementation Analogies:

1. The implementation will be like open heart surgery while the patient is still alive and working.

2. An ERP implementation is like the corporate equivalent of a brain transplant.

3. I think of ERP implementations like mountain climbing: No two are the same, Some principles are universal: Gravity makes you fall no matter what mountain you climb. Some approaches are either wrong or very risky.

4. ERP is like my marriage…In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health…

5. ERP implementation is like a warfare, make it quick and fast, don’t drag too long. The soldier’s morale is the key.

6. ERP implementation is like a soccer team, where the coach, physiotherapist and substitutes have roles that are equal to those of the players themselves. (… in explaining the role of top management.) and

7. An ERP implementation is like a 9 month root canal.

If you have  been involved with an ERP implementation, we are sure you can can come up with some more.

We have been involved in a number of lawsuits resulting from failed implementations – both representing software companies and customers.  The central issue with these suits typically revolves around the software consulting agreement. The software company typically tries to shift as much responsibility for the failed implementation to the customer arguing that the customer’s internal IT department was unsophisticated or inadequately staffed. Similarly, customers typically characterize the software as defective and the implementation services as sub-par.

While ERP implementations by their very nature are complex, a well drafted consulting agreement with statements of work that clearly define deliverables, time-lines, roles and responsibilities is key to streamlining the implementation process and avoiding unnecessary disputes and problems.