Hidden challenges facing any ERP implementation

Smooth ERP implementation starts with identifying the challenges!


There is no doubt about every ERP system implementation faces number of challenges that may affect its success.

Everyone is arguing about the benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning systems to organizations, but the fact is that every organization is tending to have an electronic system one way or another.

The question here is: "Do we really need an ERP system?"

If the answer is yes, this means we need to figure out what could be the obstacles or risks that might hinder the selected ERP success.

To avoid failures in ERP implementations we need to address some of the major challenges faced by almost all IT solution providers.

Challenge 1: Integrity is at the core of ERP benefit

"Management is all about decision making...Consolidated insights shapes business actions"

First we need to determine which organizational processes need to be integrated with each other, or which existing or future system should be integrated with which system.

WHAT to integrate? And Why?

One of the toughest questions to any organization, in-spite how simple it looks like.

Do we need to integrate ERP system with Human Resources department? What about our existing POS software, shall we integrate with our new ERP system or no?

In large organization decision might be very difficult, on what process should be included in ERP implementation, as the real benefits of that ERP for a particular department or division is not so clear.


In order to reduce any miss understanding and to gain the most out of the integrity which is one of the main benefits of any ERP system, you should determine the value and criticality of each business process or system, this could be done by simply classifying all the current business processes into:

CORE processes:  How essential is this process to our business? Like: is Project management system essential to integrate in our ERP or no? How important is this process, and how much top management dependence on this process.

ENHANCING Processes: What processes that enhances or improve our customers experience when dealing with us.

Remember that Core and enhancing perspectives vary from one organization to another, so the core processes for one organization might be an enhancing one to another. Like: CRM for a well-known mobile operator company is considered as a core process, while it could be an enhancing one for a factory selling its product line end products to its distributers!

Challenge 2: Commitment brings success

How many implementations failed because the manager of X department is cooperating during ERP implementation process?

Managers should buy the ERP system before the owners!

It’s wide obvious that all organization managers, seniors, and / or department heads are required to be fully involved during the ERP system implementation process, cause they are the executers, they know how and when the work should be done. Commitment of these parties here is crucial to the success of your implementation.


There so many reasons as why those managers or seniors might not be committed, however the most obvious reason could be that those managers are not able to see the benefits of the ERP to them or their departments, so simple do the following before you start you ERP implementation project:

  1. Define your stakeholders, with their roles as well
  2. Establish demonstrations for each one of them, and depending on their roles you can determine how they measure the value for a system
  3. Get a buy in form those managers before you begin cause they can put the whole project in failure or disruption
  4. Get a clear authorization from the Owners, and make sure they understand that the implementation is not your sole responsibility it’s also the management heads and or seniors

Challenge 3: Proper Trainings

Nobody can deny the importance of training after the implementation of the ERP system, but also training for end users cannot be left open without any control on hours to be provided to those end users.

The main problem comes when there is a high staff retention in place, where you have to train somebody, and he/she leaves the organization and somebody else replaces him/her, simply they will stop using the ERP system


I strongly recommend the workshop approach, where end users have a decent hands on how to use the session, and preferably those sessions to be recoded in an audio or video media formats, so that we can fall back when required.

A successful ERP implementation will always contribute to customer or overall business success. It’s all about showing the benefits of your ERP to different stakeholders in the organization