The time taken for ERP implementation depends on a number of factors such as number of modules, the number of users per module, customization, the method adopted for the process and level of participation of client's management team. It has been found in a study that the average time taken for complete project is mostly more than eighteen months for a mid to large sized organization but software as a service takes less time for the process although the benefits are also less.
In the last five year, the software vendors are trying to reduce the cost and also the duration, and they succeeded in reducing the overall cost but not much change can be done for the duration of implementation. Many organizations have unrealistic expectations about the total time and cost, and it prevents these companies to get complete satisfaction.
It has been found that more than 90% of the ERP project takes more time than expected and some of the common causes for delays are
Delay caused in decision making: The highest amount of delays is caused by the clients when the management of the company is not actively taking part in the process. The management should take quick decisions and give feedback frequently. Meetings with the lead management team should be fixed to reduce confusions. There are many crucial decisions and changes in business a process which reduces the total time.
Faults in business processes: If a company has outdated mode of working, the time for implementation will be more. The company going for automation should prepare itself and be ready for the changes. Automated methodologies have no scope for manipulations and therefore, every business process should be clear, accurate and direct, and the system should work as per standards.
Number of users or units: If a company has many units and departments, the number of implementations will be more. If the business units and users are located at various geographical locations, a lot of time will be spent on transportation and a good amount of resource may be spent on it.
Changes at the management level: If a company undergoes a major change at the management level during the process or the decision making is delayed, the implementation process will not only be delayed but it may suffer a huge setback.
Miscellaneous circumstances: Delays in ERP can be caused by delay in data collection, data transfer, delay caused by management to sanction the project or the vendor may suffer from some visa issues, erratic business practices followed by the client, communication gap, lack of resources etc.
If a project takes the shortcut methods, the time for testing increases because the complete system is implemented once without testing and then the testing of each stage gets tougher in case there is any error at any stage.
In case the method adopted is parallel adoption - the delay may be caused during the integration of two different processes. But in such cases, the everyday wok of the company is carried out and process of implementation also continues.