ERP Needs- As is happening with almost everything in business, COVID-19 is having an impact on ERP software systems and digital transformation projects – particularly with respect to interruptions or delays in software implementation projects. Some companies are postponing their implementation or drastically reducing the scope of their implementations.
While halting or postponing an implementation project in the face of COVID-19 may make sense, there is a risk of losing the institutional knowledge accumulated by the integration team working on the project.
Consultants that understood your business requirements may not be available at a future date. There will also be additional costs associated with getting new consultants on board who have an understanding of where the implementation project has been, where it is going, and how the project addresses unique business requirements.
We went through the options facing users when we spoke at the virtual 2020 Digital Stratosphere conference in late April. We also explored how current contracts can be renegotiated and what should be included in new contracts.
Creating Workarounds in a COVID-19 World
For implementation projects in progress, instead of stopping them altogether, a better option may be to narrow the scope to essential modules or pieces of functionality. If you are moving forward with your implementation, whether with a reduced scope or not, you need to ensure you have reasonable workarounds in place to account for the project disruption associated with stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and consultants working remotely.
Diligently managing the scope and the cost of the implementation is more important than ever. It is imperative you focus on project governance. You need to ensure you receive project status updates on a regular basis, and that the updates you receive provide meaningful information that allows you to make informed decisions about the project.
Similarly, you need to focus on change orders to counteract the likelihood of scope creep and budget expansion. You may also be able to use change orders to “back-door” amendments to the implementation contract.