Historically, buyers of new print MIS/ERP software systems have made the same mistake: because they have put off replacing their software system for so long, they want to implement far too much functionality all at once.

They often overestimate their own capabilities and skills, while at the same time underestimating the complexity and size of their project. The consequences of these choices are usually made evident: delays, frustration, disruption in many areas – and sometimes even serious legal conflicts.

It’s a well-known but persistent pitfall. Organizations all over the world trip over their own ambitions to make a new implementation succeed. Again and again, simplicity as a crucial success factor is overlooked.

Consider Your Scope

It often starts with failing to properly map out the scope of the project. The broader the design and the more users, departments and third parties involved, the greater the chance of unforeseen complications and potential failure. Once that much-too-heavy implementation finally becomes operational, there’s little energy and impetus left for follow-up. The result is a marginally functioning system with which you’re soon losing ground.

It’s a good idea, of course, to choose your solution and implementation partner with care. After all, you want to enjoy and benefit from your technology investment for many years. But does that automatically mean that you must implement all that exciting tech all at once? For these reasons, our advice is to inform yourself broadly and then implement narrowly in a measured, step-by-step approach.

Check out another post addressing this same subject. Especially when implementing cloud software, your implementation project should be (and can be) less of a big-bang approach than we’ve seen in traditional projects.

How Evergreen Is My Project?

With cloud software you can choose for an “evergreen” format with a stream of frequent (and smaller) continuous improvements – so that your implementation is no longer a monolithic project but becomes more of an incremental process. Evergreen works by making small, ongoing updates to your organization’s IT landscape rather than pursuing isolated big-bang migrations – so that like its metaphorical title, you’ll remain verdant year-round, with little or no downtime.

So do limit the scope for the first phase. Choose a short implementation duration and enjoy the first benefits as quickly as possible. We all know how ‘quick wins’ can enthuse others, right? But then don’t forget to follow through with phase 2. And phase 3. All too often, these crucial next steps end up on the shelf in the bustle of everyday life.

Keeping your ambitions in check during the start-up phase will reduce risk, increase your success chances and deliver the first benefits more quickly. Most importantly, it keeps energy, budget and enthusiasm in reserve for the important next steps in this continuing process of change and growth.

25 Years of Print MIS/ERP Project Management

PrintVis is the Microsoft-certified MIS built specifically for the print industry, built directly on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, the world-renowned ERP system for mid-market businesses.

Our powerful solution meets both the most basic and advanced needs of any type or size of print company, from the first quote until the job is produced and delivered to the customer – including a complete financial package and robust business intelligence from Microsoft.

If you recognize your own print business in any of the above scenarios, and feel trepidation on how to embark on your ERP implementation journey, get in touch with us! We’ll connect you with one of our certified PrintVis Partners and help you get off to a great start, just like we’ve been doing for a quarter of a century.