Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Implementation as a Complex Project: A Conceptual framework/Imones Istekliu Planavimo Diegimas Kaip Kompleksinis Projektas: Koncepcinis Modelis

Academic journal article Journal of Business Economics and Management

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems Implementation as a Complex Project: A Conceptual framework/Imones Istekliu Planavimo Diegimas Kaip Kompleksinis Projektas: Koncepcinis Modelis

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Prior research has provided valuable insights into how and why employees make a decision about adoption and use of information technologies (ITs) in the workplace. From an organizational point of view, however, the more important issue is how managers make informed decisions about interventions that can lead to greater acceptance and effective utilization of IT (Venkatesh and Bala 2008). Project management has been dominated by the hard paradigm in which reductionist techniques such as work breakdown structures and critical path analysis are used to manage projects. These tools and techniques are fairly well suited to the management of single projects and it is therefore unsurprising that industry is overwhelmingly dominated by the single project paradigm (Aritua et al. 2009).

ERP systems, also called enterprise systems (ES) are among the most important business information technologies that emerged during the last decade (Chung et al. 2008). Transforming a core business process requires intensive cooperation among executive peers and therefore for ERP adoption process which involves multiple business units, require a confrontation of reality, both external and internal (Chen et al. 2009; Miles 2010). Total cost of ownership, which is critical is measuring success (Jasilioniene and Tamosiuniene 2009) of any product based implementation, it can only be measured if all the internal and external variables are considered properly.

There have been very limited studies in investigating ERP in the project management domain or exploring the integrated applications of project management practices. The current project management methodology has failed to provide tools and techniques for successful ERP implementations. Adopting and implementing appropriate project managements principles, tools, and techniques to manage large and complex application projects is one of the most important management decisions for managing any enterprise application implementation. And project managers are required to be empowered to execute. An ERP implementation is not merely a "computer project", it is strategic and must be approached as such. ERP systems are integrated applications with an impact on the entire organization (Aloini et al. 2007).

A lot of research has been done during last decade about the success and failures of ERP implementations (Helo et al. 2008). Most data came from survey and case studies without going into fundamentals on impact of project management tools and techniques for ERP project. A theory of ERP implementation approach must address the integrity and application of a project management methodology, establish relationship with implementation partners and vendors and include strategies for empowerment, fairness, and accountability during the implementation life cycle. The result of that relationship should be that the project manager is rigorously in control and, simultaneously, management methodology is optimally established process and procedure to manage a project involving multiple partners without direct hierarchical reporting structure. Three main components affect the level of satisfaction of an ERP user: "interaction with the IT department", "pre-implementation processes", and "ERP product and adaptability" (Longinidis and Gotzamani 2009). In this paper, we attempt to reconcile these diverse arguments, following complex organization structure involved in any enterprise application implementations.

Often ERP implementations may require going against conventional wisdom to be successful (Luo and Strong 2004). However no further study has been done to established a new methodology to implement ERP systems. We also discuss ERP project as a complex adaptive system that all ERP projects are different and require project governance and management in place to adapt to interconnectedness, communication and control over different stakeholders involved with any non-hierarchical relationship. …

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