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30-Minute Guide to Planning Your ERP/Business IT Project 

January 11, 2022

Preparation is everything – this also applies to ERP and business IT projects. There are numerous templates and planning guides for these projects. But do all these processes lead to a successful project? A project can only be a success if the right goals and criteria are defined from the beginning and taken to heart from planning to execution. In our blog article, you will learn in just a few minutes how to prepare and which questions you should answer in order to start a truly successful ERP/Business IT project. 

Do I know what I am looking for?

Innovation projects are similar to the metaphor: "You're not looking for a car, you're looking for a mobility solution," to deliberately avoid saying ERP project. You have the need and the opportunity to set up something new and you reach for old patterns. How often has it happened to us like this? Why do people immediately think of business IT as a large, complex project, which every 8-10 years places an enormous burden on a company and sometimes even puts it at risk? Our statement: ERP is being replaced by a new form of collaboration. ERP is no longer to be understood as an application, but integrated into a larger system. Consider, for example, the Microsoft Ecosystem D365 in the entire cosmos of the Azure cloud

30-Minuten-Guide für die Planung Ihres ERP/Business IT-Projekts

How open are you, your management and your IT to cloud solutions?

Bear in mind that your IT will not necessarily agree to a switch to a cloud solution - if only out of self-interest. After all, many IT jobs and thus internal costs are eliminated in cloud operations. Address this issue openly internally. Your IT can take over numerous - mostly more business-focused - tasks that often benefit your business more. A proactive approach to this issue is important.


Define a "high-level IT concept".

Create a concept in advance for guidance. This is more goal-oriented than being scattered by many different gurus and vendors. From 20 years of consulting and vendor experience, a dramatic summary can be drawn. Not even 20% of the requests for proposals (specifications, RFI, RFP) contain a concept consisting of framework conditions and goals. As a result, completely heterogeneous providers enter the beauty contest without sufficient information. The selecting company has enormously high costs and efforts to assess the suitability of a provider.


Who suits you? What future do you believe in?

To answer these questions, you should be reasonably up to speed. At this point, we recommend: Talk to managers of the leading vendors very early on. Even before the specifications are drawn up (see the following point), you should discuss the opportunities with these people. This will result in the following for you and your company: an IT concept, impetus for digitization and impetus for increased innovation.


Specifications - often the basis for an unsuccessful project

How do you come to make such a provocative statement when even the German Institute for Standardization defines the terms requirement and functional specifications precisely and the contract for work is based on them? Innovative companies have long since changed their project methods in order to achieve success faster and more cost-effectively. Agile methods take people out of the "old world" faster. The principle is simple; you first selected professionally - gladly also according to methods similar to specifications - and then let yourself iteratively to a maximum level on "the new". Specifications according to the tried and tested structure leave too little room for innovation and projects take a very long time. Successes come too late and costs are derailed by too much individualization.


Processes - everyone talks about them, but hardly any company focuses on processes

Still more than 50% of all ERP projects are approached via features and beauty contest demos. There would be nothing to be said against that if there was superior process transparency. Our recommendation is to focus on processes and establish at least the must-haves of process transparency and management. Digitization innovations will then be easier to identify and implement more efficiently.


Industry expertise - breadth and depth

Today, business systems are at a high level of maturity in terms of individual functionality in almost all industries. If we assume that industry suitability is a given, innovation performance and collaboration capability (overall functionality) become significantly more important. Consulting quality is essentially derived from process know-how. The industry expertise of the consultancy should be paired with a forward-looking overall concept.

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We will be happy to answer your questions. 

Udo Burbrink

Head of Business Unit
Microsoft Dynamics

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