6 challenges of agile at scale for ERP

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Overcoming these challenges are key to using agile for an ERP implementation. It’s well worth the effort.

Scale ERP- Agile has been around for a long time by IT standards and has proven to be successful for many companies.  As companies have evolved and progressed through the pioneering stage of agile, there has been a tendency to take on larger and larger efforts. There have even been inroads made in the application of agile to support the deployment of ERP (projects that are notoriously complex with a significant amount of integration).  But the benefits of agile that were derived from smaller-scale efforts have not naturally transferred to agile projects at scale.

Through experience and research, I have identified 6 challenges that must be overcome to effectively execute agile for an ERP implementation and actions to address them.

1. Key decision governance

An significant factor of a successful agile project is a small, committed team of collocated, highly skilled members empowered to make key decisions throughout the project.  As a project scales, cross-team decision volume increases and so does the number of “wicked messy” decisions there are to make. These decisions will typically involve organization winners and losers.  It is more difficult and time-consuming to ensure all teams are aligned when there are more teams and consequences involved.

Stakeholder scope also increases which can further lengthen the time it takes to gain consensus.  The agile mindset is not conducive to making large, cross-functional decisions so this becomes more challenging as the project scales.