Investigation of Critical success factors for ERP implementation : A user perspective

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS); Högskolan i Jönköping/IHH, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS)

Abstract: Background: Due to the rapid development of globalization, increased competition has led to significant market changes. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) has been a crucial part of gaining competitive advantage, but implementing an ERP system have shown to be complicated and expensive. Hence, understanding the critical success factors (CSF) when implementing an ERP system is vital as it can provide a successful implementation. Previous research has mainly focused on the general perspective, whereas the user perspective towards the CSFs has been lacking. This thesis complements the research by concentrating on the operational user and their perception towards the importance of each CSF as well as in which implementation phase each CSF is essential.  Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the CSFs of an ERP implementation from a user perspective and why these are important in different implementation phases.  Method: As this study adopted a qualitative approach, a multiple case study of three case companies was conducted with an inductive research approach. The empirical data have been gathered through semi-structured interviews. A theoretical framework has been used for the literature in this study. The empirical data was then analyzed and compared to the literature. By analyzing the data in a within-case analysis before combining the findings in a cross-case analysis, it enabled the possibility to compare and derive a conclusion covering all case companies.  Conclusion: The results of this thesis shows that users from the case companies believed that more users should be involved in the ERP implementation. Furthermore, two case companies believed each 13 CSFs to be critical in an ERP implementation, whereas one case company believed 12 CSFs to be important. Where the CSFs ‘minimum customization', ‘education and training,' ‘technical possibilities' and ‘performance measurement' were perceived to be essential in this study compared to previous research when users did not perceive these CSFs as important. Lastly, a first attempt at grouping the CSF with the phases of an ERP implementation was made. The findings from the cross-case analysis revealed that there is a shared perception across some of the companies of why the CSFs are essential concerning the specific phases. 

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