Law, H., Ngai and Wat (2008) revisited and researched on previously published materials on the subject of Enterprise Resource Planning. The incident provided such a precious opportunity for the exploration of many enterprise resource planning aspects that over the years has remained blurredly understood, or there seriousness in utilization seems to have been diminished with time.
The work concentrated on the examination of the key factors that are of crucial importance for an organization to succeed in its operations and overall management leading a greater performance level.
The re-visitation of the ERP literature by the above mentioned experts occurred after realization of general failure of the ERP projects in numerous organizations/institutions which associated or claimed the failure was due to the ERP complex nature (Law et al, 2008, 1). In brief, the content of the article dwelled on assess and evaluations of critical success factors as well as the sub-factor required by different states and regions for them to have a successful implementation of ERP.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning has become a buzzword in modern days for those enterprises that take Information Technology as critical and strategic infrastructure. More often than not, many enterprises get disappointed when they realize that their ambitious goals are not achieved once this miraculous infrastructure is implemented within their enterprises.
Therefore, ERP has been advanced with the advancement of technology for the purpose of enabling effectiveness and efficiencies within organization/institutions specifically in almost all the inner organization cells/units.
Though it’s overt that ERP implementation process is not an easy task, thorough understanding of the full process would act as a driving factor is a crucial step towards reduction of ERP project failure in organizations and their sub-units or departments, hence the rise to the leader’s positions in terms of competitive performance.
The possible way of creating clarity of understanding in the ERP process is by focusing on the critical success factors- Ngai et al (2008) approached this from the international perspective, a unique field where most of the ERP programs had been a great challenge for most organizations. Generally, the dimension taken was a rare one that had attracted, or had been explored by very few elites, thus giving the investigatory work its significance.
Critical success factors
There are innumerable critical success factor that were identified in this review of the past published work, however, these factors varied both with individuals, organizations and institutions together with the approach adopted by the researchers. Looking in CSF at International perspective, it’s a very important in considering that the ERP is developed with an international clientele in mind.
Accordingly, Law et al (2008, 5) cited eighteen Critical Success Factors (CSFs) with the main objectives of establishing which of them has a greater impact on successful implementation of ERP: Appropriate business and IT legacy systems, Business plan/vision/goals/justification, Business process reengineering, Change management culture and program, Communication, Data management, ERP strategy and implementation methodology, ERP teamwork and composition, ERP vendor, Monitoring and evaluation of performance, Organizational characteristics, Project champion, Project management, Software development, testing, and troubleshooting, Top management support, Fit between ERP and business/process, National culture, Country-related functional requirements.
At the end, the result showed that there were similarities and differences of the importance attached to various CSFs by states and also regions.
Despite the fact that there were disparities among nations/regions, it was established that the differences attached to diverse CSFs was not significant as viewed from the statistical result.
Major critical success factors by classification
The need to employ a particular CSF depends on a number of factors including the activity taking place in a country/ regions, the economic level of the area as well as the literacy level of the person implementing the ERP programs. While making a selection of the CSF to consider in the process of implementing ERP, one should apply a selection criteria based on the category of the need ERP.
At state level, National Culture and Country-related functionality are among the CSFs on implementation of ERP that should be considered. Basically, the selection of CSFs is based on three basic categories, viz: Vendor-related – These factors include business knowledge, technical know-how; consulting capabilities, software upgrade policy, and support services of ERP vendors.
Country-related- These factors include national culture and country-related functional requirements. Lastly is the organization-related group which includes those factors of business process re-engineering, communication within various user departments, and top management support.
As I conclude, my opinion is that most of the CSFs are requirements at the international level of ERP implementation is more or less the same as those needed in organizations and other institutions within a nation.
These revolve around key areas of technology, data and information management, cultural management and structure of management. However, the work warns individual to consider each of the factors and handle them carefully on the basis of its importance in the ERP implementation, especially at international levels where culture has got great influence.
Law, H., Ngai, T. & Wat, T. (2008) Examining the critical success factors in the adoption of enterprise resource planning: Hung Hom, Computer Industry press