Towards Identifying the Most Important Attributes of ERP Implementations

Towards Identifying the Most Important Attributes of ERP Implementations

Piotr Soja (Cracow University of Economics, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-146-9.ch007
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been implemented in various and diverse organizations. The size of companies, their industry, the environment, and the number of implemented modules are examples of their heterogeneity. In consequence, a single procedure which leads to the success of implementation does not appear to exist. Therefore, there have been many implementations that have failed during, and also after, the implementation process. As a result, a considerable amount of research has been trying to identify issues influencing ultimate project success and also to recognize the best implementation projects. The aim of this work is to identify the most important characteristics of ERP implementation which affect project success. This study builds on data gathered using a questionnaire directed toward people playing leading roles in ERP implementations in a few dozen companies. Twelve attributes were identified and divided into three sets representing: effort, effect, and the synthetic measure of success calculated on the basis of the obtained data. Two agglomeration methods were employed to identify exemplar and anti-exemplar groups and objects. These elements were thoroughly analyzed, which led to identifying the most and the least desired attributes of an ERP implementation project. The findings are discussed and related with the results of prior research. Finally, implications for practitioners and concluding remarks summarise the chapter.
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The implementation of an ERP system is a great challenge for a company making the effort of introducing such a system into its organisation. The implementation project is usually connected with sizeable expenses for computer software and hardware, as well as for the implementation services provided by a system solution supplier (e.g., Sarkis & Gunasekaran, 2003). The implementation effects could be very diverse, beginning from the considerable enhancement of enterprise activity and increase of its profitability, to the rejection of the system introduced (e.g., Holland et al., 1999; McNurlin & Sprague, 2002). The companies introducing ERP packages into their organisations differ quite significantly. The implementation endeavours called ERP projects comprise both simple installations of single modules of a system and complex solutions dealing with the installation of many system modules in numerous units of a company (Parr & Shanks, 2000).

Therefore, ERP implementation projects form a very diverse population and in order to compare particular implementations, one has to keep this diversity in mind so that such a comparison is reasonable (e.g., Stensrud & Myrtveit, 2003). Thus, it seems appropriate to group purposefully implementation projects into homogenous collections, where the comparison of projects is feasible and sensible. Only in this situation can we talk about a “model” implementation project and examine the project discovered in order to reveal the most needed characteristics.

Among the methods of projects grouping suggested by prior studies, there are those employing company size (e.g., Bernroider & Koch, 2001; Buonanno et al., 2005; Everdingen et al., 2000; Loh & Koh, 2004) and those relying on a criterion of the number of user licenses (Sedera et al., 2003). While previous research indicates that company size is an important criterion influencing ERP project conditions, the results regarding the benefits achieved are mixed. Some research works suggest that benefits gained by large and small sized organisations seem to be similar (e.g., Shang & Seddon, 2000; Soja, 2005) and other studies advocate that benefits differ by company size (Mabert et al., 2003).

Prior studies also suggest other criteria of ERP projects grouping that might influence implementations’ conditions. These criteria include the extent of ERP package modification (Soh & Sia, 2005), implementation scope and duration time (Soja, 2005, 2006). The results imply that the implementations’ conditions are diverse depending on project type defined by dividing criteria. Moreover, the project type can have an impact on the effects achieved by a company as a result of ERP implementation. In particular, the project duration seems to have an important influence on achieved results (Soja, 2005).

The multitude of potential factors influencing ERP projects is illustrated by the complex division presented by Parr and Shanks (2000). They suggest the following categories for the division of projects: implementation physical scope (single or multiple site), extent of organisational changes, level of system modification, module implementation strategy, and allocated resources in terms of time and budget. Taking into consideration the above-mentioned criteria of a division, there are a great many implementation types. Therefore, Parr and Shanks distinguish three main categories of ERP implementations: comprehensive, averagely complicated (middle-road) and simple (vanilla).

Overall, it seems that it is hard to find a generally accepted division of ERP projects into groups, which would constitute homogenous collections of similar implementations. Prior studies suggest various criteria of ERP projects grouping and these divisions take into consideration merely the variables defining the efforts made in order to implement a system, but they completely omit the issue of achieved effects. Meanwhile, incorporating the parameters describing implementation results could lead to interesting conclusions.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Angappa Gunasekaran
Chapter 1
Emad M. Kamhawi
Responding to the need for a better understanding of the factors that explain ERP systems implementation success, this chapter used a field study to... Sample PDF
Examining the Factors Affecting Project and Business Success of ERP Implementation
Chapter 2
Ronald E. McGaughey, Angappa Gunasekaran
Business needs have driven the design, development, and use of the enterprise-wide information systems we call Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)... Sample PDF
Evolution of Enterprise Resource Planning
Chapter 3
Purnendu Mandal, Mohan P. Rao
The build-up of export-oriented companies since 1990s on the Mexico-USA boarder, and their recent decline, is no surprise to many policy analysts.... Sample PDF
Information Technology Usage in Maquila Enterprises
Chapter 4
Henk Jonkers, Maria-Eugenia Iacob
In this chapter the authors address the integration of functional models with non-functional models in the context of service-oriented... Sample PDF
Performance and Cost Analysis of Service-Oriented Enterprise Architectures
Chapter 5
S. Parthasarathy
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an integrated software system reflecting the business processes of an enterprise. Enterprise Resource... Sample PDF
Significance of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Nominal Group Technique (NGT) in ERP Implementation
Chapter 6
Manuel Kolp, Yves Wautelet, Stéphane Faulkner
Organizational Modeling is concerned with analyzing and understanding the organizational context within which a software system will eventually... Sample PDF
Specifying Software Models with Organizational Styles
Chapter 7
Piotr Soja
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been implemented in various and diverse organizations. The size of companies, their industry, the... Sample PDF
Towards Identifying the Most Important Attributes of ERP Implementations
Chapter 8
Shuchih Ernest Chang
Other than providing Web services through popular Web browser interfaces, pervasive computing may offer new ways of accessing Internet applications... Sample PDF
A Voice-Enabled Pervasive Web System with Self-Optimization Capability for Supporting Enterprise Applications
Chapter 9
Hafid Agourram
Research has showed that social and socio-technical concepts are influenced by culture. The objective of this chapter is to explore how the... Sample PDF
The Impact of Culture on the Perception of Information System Success
Chapter 10
John Krogstie, Csaba Veres, Guttorm Sindre
Much of the early focus in the area of Semantic Web has been on the development of representation languages for static conceptual information; while... Sample PDF
Achieving System and Business Interoperability by Semantic Web Services
Chapter 11
Chen-Yang Cheng
The success of implementing Enterprise Information System (EIS) depends on exploring and improving the EIS software, and EIS software training.... Sample PDF
Integrated Research and Training in Enterprise Information Systems
Chapter 12
Lea Kutvonen
Participation in electronic business networks has become necessary for the success of enterprises. The strategic business needs for participating in... Sample PDF
Service-Oriented Middleware for Managing Inter-Enterprise Collaborations
Chapter 13
Joseph Bradley, C. Christopher Lee
Training is still a neglected part of most ERP implementation projects. This case study investigates the relation between training satisfaction and... Sample PDF
Training and User Acceptance in a University ERP Implementation: Applying the Technology Acceptance Model
Chapter 14
Diego Milano
Data quality is a complex concept defined by various dimensions such as accuracy, currency, completeness, and consistency (Wang & Strong, 1996).... Sample PDF
Measuring and Diffusing Data Quality in a Peer-to-Peer Architecture
Chapter 15
Vipul Jain
The key part of dynamic supply chain management is negotiating with suppliers and with buyers. Designing efficient business processes throughout the... Sample PDF
Modeling Buyer-Supplier Relationships in Dynamic Supply Chains
Chapter 16
Ioannis Ignatiadis, Joe Nandhakumar
Enterprise Systems are widespread in current organizations and seen as integrating organizational procedures across functional divisions. An... Sample PDF
Enterprise Systems, Control and Drift
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