NetSuite Implementation Disaster - Set Priorities

Preventing ERP Disasters: NetSuite Priorities

Does this sound like you?


Did you have an ERP disaster? Do you consider your implementation a failure? Is it half-done? Is it over-stuffed with features you don’t use while lacking things you need? Have you considered wiping it clean and starting from scratch? Are you struggling to figure out how to move forward?


Believe it or not, I have met a number of companies that have actually considered starting from scratch. After spending hundreds of hours, many months, and tens of thousands of dollars on an implementation, they’re ready to just walk away. Awful. Simply awful.


Who is to blame? NetSuite? Your implementation partner? You? Someone else at your company?


Listen, just as a successful implementation is a team effort, so is a disastrous one. Unless you inherited this mess from someone else, even you may be partially to blame. But that’s ok. It doesn’t matter how you got there. What matters is how you are going to get out of it. And for those just about to start an implementation (or halfway through one), you may be reading this at just the right time!


It’s all about priorities


I’m not PMP certified. I’m not an expert in Agile methodologies. I don’t have an MBA. What I have is common sense and a few years of dealing with bad implementations – after the fact. I’ve spent a good deal of time helping companies get their systems back on track, and here is what I have learned:

You must set priorities!

It’s that simple. I have seen system after system that was crammed with every possible Plug-In, script, workflow, custom form, and SuiteApp that it could hold. Half, if not most, going unused. Thousands of lines of code bogging down every page of NetSuite and creating a mess.


When too much is stuffed into a NetSuite system, it can have a dramatic impact on performance. With a number of scripts and workflows running on every page, on every field change, and on every save, it can slow performance down to a crawl. Users will become frustrated and assume it’s NetSuite’s fault – not realizing it is all of the garbage piled on top that is to blame.


How do you fix it?


Very carefully. Unfortunately, with some customizations, they become so intertwined with your daily process that it becomes similar to pulling weeds in the garden. While weeding is important, you have to be cautious because you sometimes pull out the good with the bad. Other times, you have to let the weeds stay where they are to protect the plants you do want to keep.


The first step, then, is to go back and do what should have been done in the first place: categorizing your priorities. One such method is called MoSCoW – an acronym for Must, Should, Could, and Would. It breaks down like this:


  • Must have: The essential business processes that need to be present in your NetSuite system. They must be there at go-live.
  • Should have: Processes that you should have – or at least something similar that you can adapt to. They should be there at go-live or soon after.
  • Could have: These are the nice-to-haves that are not essential, but make life easier. Often, it is best to include these in phase 2 or 3, but it depends on your schedule.
  • Would like to have: This is the wishlist. It definitely does not need to be a go-live priority, and is often best left for after go-live.


What next?


Start categorizing your needs and deciding what needs to be done first. If you follow this from the initial implementation, life will be a lot easier. But if you are struggling post-implementation, this will be a good way to plan your path forward.


Of course, this will lead to the next problem: time management. These two topics go hand-in-hand on projects, but I’ll wait to cover that in another post.


What are your thoughts?

Chad Torgerson

Chad Torgerson is the wizard behind the curtain at SMB Ally. He is a husband, father to 4 kids, an Iraq War veteran, and a nerd that is well-versed in a number of technologies (primarily NetSuite).

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