Jan 18, 2012

How long will an ERP project take?

I'm looking for any data/research on ERP deployments - costs, deployment trends, etc. Anyone?

I agree that it's very tough to generalize about this. So much depends on the project and the companies involved in launching it.

Here's an article that looks at best practices for ERP deployments. It may be useful to you if you are planning your own project.

Best Practices For Successful ERP System Deployments

"Enterprise resource planning system deployments are large in scope and complex by their nature compared to any other IT program. They have budgets in the millions of dollars and typically impact nearly the entire user community. Inevitably, they touch the core business of the enterprise and typically trigger process- and operation-level changes across business divisions.

ERP applications also end up having myriad integrations with satellite applications, data warehouses and external systems, resulting in complex technology architectures and dependencies. They become further complicated by the fact that they often stretch over a long period of time. These complexities pose many new challenges and also put a strain on the enterprise’s overall budget and day-to-day business and IT operations."

That isn't the most simple question to answer, as it depends on a number of variables, including size of the company and what components of an ERP system will be implemented, and how effective the training of employees is.   I would count on sometime between one and three years for full implementation from a traditional ERP vendor.  I have limited knowledge about the newer SaaS ERP applications, but I understand that they take far less time to implement.  Even with a SaaS ERP vendor, you still need to take into consideration the time it takes to train employees to effectively utilize ERP.  

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