ERP implementations have all the time been difficult, and fraught with failures. Now, with the present COVID-19 pandemic and related recession, these implementations have turn out to be much more dangerous.

As a CIO or IT chief shifting ahead with a cloud ERP implementation, you could contemplate how these new challenges could have an effect on your project. Here’s a list of 10 potential challenges and techniques to beat them.

1. Resistance

Stakeholders could not wish to transfer ahead with an ERP implementation due to the pandemic. There is loads of financial uncertainty and COVID-19 worries. And many corporations are nonetheless adjusting to having a major distant workforce.

To mitigate this resistance, you could present how the ERP project will save the firm money, place your organization to extend revenues, or each. Highlight all of the steps you take to mitigate dangers to the project. Work together with your vendor to get reductions that make the project more inexpensive in these tough occasions. Finally, you’ll want to share that partially distant implementations shouldn’t be new, though utilizing an all-remote workforce is new. Explain that you may mitigate a few of that uncertainty, nevertheless, by utilizing the instruments and techniques of previous implementations for right now’s actuality.

2. Employees distracted with private duties

With schools and day cares closed, many staff now have further responsibilities, comparable to serving to their youngsters with schoolwork and caring for younger youngsters. In addition, staff can also be offering elder care to older family.

This is a new actuality for a lot of staff that’s out of their management. It is greatest to work together with your staff to know their challenges and discover choices for them that enable the staff to proceed contributing to the undertaking. For instance, it’s possible you’ll enable staff to work at completely different occasions of the day, comparable to beginning early within the morning or working within the evenings and on weekends. You may ask all staff to be out there for sure core hours every day in order that your staff can schedule their dwelling actions accordingly. Last-minute conferences could not all the time be potential when staff are caring for younger youngsters.

3. Data safety

A profitable cloud ERP implementation depends upon good safety, and that may be onerous to come back by proper now. With so many staff working remotely, there may be an elevated threat that confidential info shall be seen by nonemployees. Some staff could use a standard area inside their dwelling to work. They can also share a pc with different relations or use unsecure laptop gear, comparable to Wi-Fi that’s not password protected or a pc with out virus safety.

While you could not be capable to present a safe physical work setting for remote staff, you may take steps to mitigate the chance. First, you may guarantee your organization has a confidentiality agreement in place and that every one staff have signed it. Next, you may remind staff of the confidentiality settlement, to make sure that it’s high of thoughts throughout these occasions. In some circumstances, staff could have signed this settlement years in the past once they began with the firm. Additionally, you may present staff with the required laptop equipment and software program needed to work safely from home. If offering all distant staff with an organization laptop computer or private laptop shouldn’t be potential, maybe you may pay for virus scanning software program to be put in on every worker’s dwelling laptop. Finally, you may present info to staff in the type of documentation or on-line coaching. This ought to assist them establish and resolve any safety dangers they might have, comparable to easy methods to require a password when connecting to Wi-Fi.

4. Internet and cellphone entry

For staff residing within the city, getting quick internet entry and good coverage on their cellphone might be fairly simple. For staff who stay in distant areas, these might be difficult and costly.

For the latter, it’s possible you’ll wish to pay them a month-to-month premium or pay for his or her service to guarantee they can work correctly from home. You can also wish to depend on videoconferencing software program to speak stay if cellphone entry shouldn’t be dependable.

5. Hardware wants

Depending on the performance you might be implementing, staff creating and testing the ERP system could must have entry to {hardware}, comparable to scanners.

For this testing, it’s possible you’ll wish to depend on staff who’re in a position to work from the workplace; nevertheless, if that is not potential, you’ll want to guarantee you’ve a adequate provide as a result of it could be tough for workers to share the {hardware} required to implement the answer.

6. Sudden sickness

Even beneath regular circumstances, there’s all the time the chance {that a} member of the workforce will fall unwell. However, as extra individuals contract COVID-19, that threat is elevated. In addition, if somebody exams optimistic, protocols name for workers to self-quarantine, which may trigger extra points.

To put together for the worst-case situation, it’s best to have staff doc their work and replace their standing regularly. This will help make a transition simpler if work must be handed from one worker to a different on quick discover.

7. Training

Teaching staff easy methods to use a brand new ERP system is way more difficult when many staff are remote. For instance, when staff get caught throughout the training, the facilitator cannot stroll over and assist them resolve the problem. Also, as soon as staff begin utilizing the brand new system, it could be tougher for them to study from one another, as a result of distant studying now would not enable for a fast chat with the particular person sitting subsequent to them.

It will be essential to have completely different coaching strategies out there to staff, comparable to stay coaching over videoconferencing software program, documentation, tip sheets and e-learning. Anything you are able to do to assist ease the transition into the brand new system shall be useful.

8. Multiple time zones

Some of your ERP implementation workforce members may go in different international locations and time zones, which presents challenges when scheduling conferences. With worldwide journey nearly completely halted, having remote staff members work on web site is doubtless not potential.

As talked about earlier, you may attempt to prepare core hours the place everyone seems to be out there. This technique may go if there may be overlap between time zones. Alternatively, you may ask workforce members working remotely to change their work schedule throughout crucial phases within the project to higher align to the remainder of the workforce. You can also have one remote employee who’s assigned to attend after-hour conferences, and that particular person can observe up with local team members the next day.

9. Meetings with out physique language

Someone’s bodily response to info they’re receiving or sharing can typically give clues about how the particular person feels on the subject. With a lot info sharing now being performed remotely, it is not all the time potential to see an individual’s bodily reaction.

Using videoconferencing software program will help since you may see the participants, assuming there aren’t too many individuals, and everybody has their camera on. When sharing info that will generate a negative response, make sure you schedule time for questions and solutions, and encourage individuals to ask questions within the chat perform if they do not really feel comfy asking them stay.

10. Communication

Poor communication can sink an ERP implementation. Employees may not have sufficient element concerning the undertaking to take acceptable action, know what’s anticipated of them, or who to speak with if they’ve questions or suggestions.

With so many staff working remotely, it is much more essential to develop a good communication plan on the outset of the undertaking. You ought to contemplate communications in a number of codecs to make sure you attain all staff. Using an intuitive undertaking web site, you can even share info, and management entry utilizing permissions in order that staff can solely see what they require, whereas sustaining all undertaking info in a single location.

Author's Bio: 

A business solution centric Odoo Consultant and IT professional with about 11+ years of experience spanning Odoo delivery, Sales, pre-sales, Odoo product development, Odoo business consulting, outsourcing & ADM services in leadership positions.

• Has headed Practices for Enterprise Solutions ( SAP, Baan & Odoo )

• Experience across domains likeSales and Marketing, Logistics, Manufacturing, Retail, Chemical, Automotive maped to Odoo

• Extensive experience in large program delivery & business process transformation consulting (Odoo Consultant) for multiple programs

• Demonstrated experience in designing new product & service offerings and executing global Go-To-Market strategies for new offerings for new market penetration

• Proven leadership skills with balanced focus on people, processes & technology

• Pioneered the use of ERP systems in various Processing Industry

• Worked as Process Heads of Marketing, Sales, Purchase, HR, ERP Project deliveries and also worked as Business Heads for many companies like IBM, JKT, Denave India, FCS and presently at Apagen Solutions (P) Ltd. and Accord Brothers Media (P) Ltd. As business head.