It is important to design a contingency plan for every project. There are many different methodologies followed by companies for ERP implementation which can prevent risks and delays but each method comes with certain risk. For example: the big bang methodology can cut off all the systems at one time which can result in halting the everyday job and similar delays can happen in parallel method of implementation. In big bang the modules which are integrated to the error causing module will show problems and overall system may not work as presumed.
In phased out method - each and every stage is tested thoroughly and this prevents errors at each stage. Gradual methods are easy to adopt and user find it easy to accept the new system. Therefore, depending on the methodology, it is necessary to make a contingency to prevent delays and inconvenience at crucial hours.
There are many ways to overcome risks and problems.
Good planning: It is very important to define clear goals before starting the project. A clear roadmap should be designed for each and every level and it should be allocated enough time and resources.
Get support from top management: The support of top management is very important for getting success. The top management are the key decision makers who should review the project at each stage and give their feedback. The team formed should include experts in IT and business areas.
Provide sufficient time and training to users: Users have to shift to the new system which may require enough training and time. The companies buying the software should allow their employees to take time as they start working on the new system. The vendors should try to make it easy for the users to use the new software or the business process.
Allocate adequate resource: There are many hidden costs involved in the process and buyers that do not consider these costs in ROI may find ERP expensive. The expense on ERP will include the cost of hardware, servers, software, maintenance, up gradations and support.
Testing and training: Integration testing and unit testing methods are used to reduce risks with real data. Appropriate training should be provided to the employees who will use the system and in any problem communication level should be maintained to prevent delays.
The Company should provide complete IT support and help to prevent delays in work caused by the new software. Sometimes the employees find it tough to use the new system because they are not aware of its feature completely and during the training process they could not see how the system will work on real data.
Develop contingency plan: What will be steps taken by the implementation company in case the system does not work as expected? What are the manual systems which can be followed in case the system stops working after a certain phase. Risks such as runaway implementation or improperly managed change can cause a failure in implementation. The vendor should maintain a contingency plan to solve such issues.