Print Companies: Before you start – have you defined what Project Success looks like?

MIS/ERP implementation projects can often evoke many emotions. That’s understandable – after all, many people are involved in these projects, the investments are substantial, the interests are great and sometimes divergent. Important choices, once made, aren’t always easily changed.

For your part you have the task of  communicating very accurately on your project goals – primarily to your staff of course, but also to your existing and potential vendors – they’ll also need to understand where you want to go with your project, and what possible changes lie ahead that will affect them.

Unfortunately, most organizations don’t excel at properly defining what they want to achieve. This is why an experienced consultant is indispensable.  It’s widely believed that over ninety percent of all organizations involved in ERP projects consider ‘staying within time and budget’ as their ultimate project goal. Most likely,  you yourself have used that as a project goal in the past as well.

But let’s dive a bit deeper into this common definition of the project goal. Spending money just for the sake of spending money isn’t really a goal, is it? And what does is tell us when we conclude at the end of the project that we were able to stay in that budget? Does that make your project successful? Does that mean that you’ve modernized your business processes, and that you’re a more attractive business partner for your potential customers? Another question: how meaningful is the motivation of staying within budget if only a select few on the team even know what that budget is?

The availability of time and financial resources in ERP implementation projects should be thought of as conditions for success, rather than as measures of that success.

Probably the best you can do for your next ERP project is to connect the project with your overall business strategy. This applies whether it’s a completely new project or an upgrade of your existing system. Business strategies typically talk about company growth, profitability, customer centricity and compliance with various regulations (FSC certification, is an obvious example for print businesses).

Connecting your project with these strategic goals has a number of advantages. First and foremost it assures that it’s not an isolated, stand-alone project. Since all the team understands the overall strategy, you will obtain internal support much more easily – including the crucial support of your board! And unlike these ‘time and budget’ projects, your new project won’t stop at the Go-Live date. But it will remain business relevant as long as the company strategy is relevant.

Last but definitely not least, it becomes evident to all  that this is not a pure IT project where the sole responsibility lies within the IT department.

By correctly defining what success in your next MIS/ERP project looks like, you’re taking the vital first step towards achieving that success!

While your certified PrintVis Partner will be the proverbial Gandalf on your ERP quest, the importance of your team’s contribution to a successful implementation cannot be overstated. It’s a team effort, no doubt. Want to read some more on how we’ll help you get things rolling? Check out this article!

Want to learn more about what to look for in an MIS/ERP software? There are crucial differences when it comes to the needs of the print industry.  Go here to download our free PDF quick guide.

Want to take PrintVis for a test drive? Go to Microsoft AppSource today!

At PrintVis, we know the ERP selection process can be daunting. We’ll never pressure you. Being informed is the best thing you can do for your graphics business. Subscribe to our articles and we’ll keep on helping you on your buyer’s journey.