This assessment is worth 45% of the total available marks for this course. The aim of this assessment item is for you to prepare a report relating to the strategies/approaches required to ensure smooth implementation of ERP systems. If you have any queries in regards to this assessment you should consult your local lecturer/tutor.
Traditionally, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are adopted by the manufacturing organisations; however, ERP vendors developed several modules to support organisations in different industries. As a result almost all the bigger organisations around the world implemented ERP systems to achieve cost savings and improve profits through business process automation. However, not every organisation achieved expected benefits through ERP implementation. In fact, new ERP implementation projects created several issues in relation to process efficiency for some organisations and costed significant amount of time and money.
In general, bigger organisations have financial buffers and access to expertise, which can help them overcome some of the problems in the long run. Whereas, Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have the reputation for being innovative, but operate with low budgets, limited number of staff and resources. The majority of SMEs are family-owned, where tasks are carried out manually with minimal rules and task procedures. Recently, major ERP vendors released different ERP versions to support and meet the needs of both SMEs and large organisations.
Regardless of the organisation size, adoption of ERP systems requires careful budget, planning and execution. Although there is literature about some of the factors influencing ERP implementation processes in general, it does not consider individual circumstances for SMEs and large organisations.
Your task is to identify what factors help achieve successful ERP implementation. In order to generate a report and to clarify issues with ERP implementation, you need to think about the:
- Critical success factors for ERP implementation at SMEs and large organisations.
- Importance of feasibility studies for adoption of ERP systems.
- Possible issues/challenges (budgets, infrastructure, skills, etc.) with ERP implementation.
- Success stories, benefits achieved through ERP implementation.
- Failures and consequences because of failures.
- Strategies for successful implementation.
Once you have examined the academic literature you may need to consider what is already known about implementation of ERP systems in order to identify any issues or risks pertinent to the SMEs (and large organisations) context.
For this assignment, you are required to use academic literature to support and illustrate your report. It is important that you look at how issues and potential problems inter-relate and explain the linkages in order to present the risks. It is up to you to explain and justify why the risks you identify may be a problem in the new implementation. It is also important to situate them in terms of the literature on causes of Enterprise Systems failure. Use this literature to develop your recommendations for strategies or actions that can avoid or mitigate the risks. Be aware that it may not be possible to avoid or mitigate all risks.
Your audience are non-technical. However, you can assume your readers are intelligent people who understand business arguments. Remember that there is no single right answer that will address all risks and recommendations. It is your choice to nominate which of the risks you believe are the most critical and up to you to select the most appropriate mitigation strategies for your recommendations. You will be assessed on your ability to persuade the reader, so it is essential you develop factual and logical arguments in your risk and recommendation justifications.