If you look up the meaning of the word "project" in the dictionary, you will find the following explanation: a project is a (large-scale) planned or already started undertaking. In the case of ERP projects, this description is also a perfect fit - except that the word "large-scale" should be emphasised twice instead of being left out.
Perhaps these brackets are to blame for the fact that many companies still underestimate the effort involved in a project of this magnitude. Therefore, here is another explanation of what you can expect.
Many factors, one rule
Basically, the extent of an ERP project always depends on the size of the company and whether several locations are involved. In addition, the initial software situation in a company should always be taken into account, e.g. if the processes are already sufficiently well mapped, but the software is not sufficient to meet the challenges, for example in the Ecommerce to exist. In this case, it is of course always helpful to have a system like SAP Business One with many flexible expansion options. How costly an ERP project will be also depends on the approach and the experience of the company in the project. Therefore, it is difficult to generalise about the actual effort.
However, there should be one overriding rule: the project stands on its own and does not somehow go alongside it. This means that ideally there is a project team that is dedicated to the ERP implementation and only to this.
The right team in the ERP project
At the beginning of every ERP project, there is initially a lot of analysis and workshop - ideally, at the end of this process, there is a concept for realising the whole thing. Here, the ERP provider actually always works together with the customer's project team. This already shows the relevance of the project team. Because any experience and competence of the provider is not enough if the project team does not know exactly about the processes in the company. This saves a lot of effort and time if suitable people are available. In addition, it reduces the effort if the processes are already to be mapped in the system as they exist - a check of these is nevertheless essential. And that is no small step.
More than just software
An often completely forgotten, but not insignificant task in ERP projects: the possibly necessary procurement of new hardware or other infrastructural measures. In order to use the full power of ERP systems To be able to exploit the full potential of the system, machines for time recording or barcode scanners are needed, for example. The effort involved should also not be underestimated.
A stumbling block for budget hawks
Since many an ERP project can turn out to be large (I think we mentioned this), companies try to save money in possible places. One such place is often the training of employees, i.e. future users. Since even the biggest cost-cutters realise that they cannot let their staff work on the system untrained, they usually resort to the key user. This means that the more or less official project manager is instructed by the provider to the extent that he can train his colleagues. However, quite a bit of experience is needed to grasp the bandwidth of a large system. Here again the importance of a good, focused project team becomes clear on the one hand, and on the other hand the effort it can mean to bring even a single employee to the point of a fluent application.
Testing is good, planned testing is better
Whether an integrated process The question of whether the system will ultimately work as imagined is usually left to the discretion of the customer. Therefore, during the test phase, the system should be closely scrutinised by the company and different scenarios tested. A test plan is advisable so that this does not end in pure chaos. This must come from the company. Just like any data sets or the testing of future users.
Duden delivers what it promises
The data sets already give the cue. However, one that describes a true Sisyphean task. Because the export from the old systems, the "cleaning" and the new prescription of the data takes a lot of time. The upload into the new software can be done by the ERP provider. However, the data must also be checked again in the system. Depending on the size and the transferred data set, this is - well - "a lot of work".
According to the Duden: an activity involving a great deal of effort and time. Completely without brackets.