People. Process. Systems.

Ryan Feely
7th July 2021

How to Rescue an ERP Implementation Header Image
It can be a gut-wrenching realisation that your ERP implementation has gone off track. The pressure is immense and if timelines and budgets are running out it can feel like the walls are closing in. But with a corrected course and some expert help, it is possible to rescue an ERP implementation before it is too late.


To rescue an ERP implementation you need to take a 3-stage approach. First, discover what is causing things to go wrong. Second, get a recovery plan in place. Third, take control and make it happen. These 3 steps will help you to get your ERP project heading in the right direction.


Discover the Issues

The first step to rescue an ERP implementation is to understand what has caused you to end up here. You need to look at everything that has gone and is continuing to go wrong across the project. It might be uncomfortable to see these issues, especially if it is a long list. But only by being honest can you hope to rescue your ERP implementation.


Once you have this list, narrow it down to the big, critical issues that are happening right now. You want to end with a list that covers what is stopping you finishing the project. These will be key areas to focus on to ensure you get your ERP set up and running – the bare minimum.


To rescue an ERP implementation you need to stabilise which can often mean just getting the system working and avoiding disruption to the wider business.


Build a Recovery Plan

Once you know the biggest issues impacting the project then it is time to build a recovery plan. This means taking a critical look at the project, including team skillsets, responsibilities, and overall scope.


By looking at skillsets you can decide if what you need to finish the project successfully exists in-house. You might realise that team members have skills that are not being utilised. Or you might realise that you are missing the required skills and need to work with an ERP consultancy.


Consider the responsibilities that teams have, or in some cases do not have. For the issues you noted earlier is it clear who is responsible for them? Often you will find that no one takes responsibility which may explain how you ended up in trouble.


Finally, look at your overall scope. As mentioned above, the number one priority is to stabilise and reduce any impact on the wider business. Sometimes this means cutting the scope of the project to focus on basics. You can go back later for things you have to cut but reducing the complexity of a project can be lifesaving.


Having considered these points you can plan what is needed to start getting things back on track. Think about who is involved, what needs changed, and when you expect to see positive changes.


Take Control and Make it Happen

This is the most crucial part when trying to rescue an ERP implementation – making it happen! Coming up with a plan is a vital step but without action and buy-in from teams then it is worthless.


Take control of the situation and explain to teams working on the project the changes you want to see. Communication is key for motivating teams and making sure they feel part of the project. Make sure they understand that aims have changed, who has new responsibilities, and that getting back on track is the top priority.


To make it happen there is nothing better than leading by example. If you are head of the project, take responsibility for where things are now and show how it can still be turned around. You need to show you are driving the project forward and this confidence will do wonders for getting team buy-in.



It is no easy task to rescue an ERP implementation but the alternative can be failure of the business. By breaking it down into 3 steps you can identify issues, plan how to fix them, and then get stuck in to solving the problem.


If you would like help to in turning your ERP project around, or realise you lack the right skillset, then get in touch with our team today. We have helped turned around projects across Europe and helped business avoid being sunk by an ERP project running wild.

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