ERP systems are complex and warrant careful planning and execution for successful implementation (Somers and Nelson, 2001). They are not purely software systems, and their implementation is not merely an IT project. An ERP system affects how a business conducts itself , and affects an organisation's business processes, people's jobs, and information flows (Bingi et al., 1999). Therefore, and due to the complex and integrated nature of an ERP package, the large investments involved (time and money), and the relatively high implementation failure rates, it is imperative for organisations to study the experiences of others, and learn from their practices and success factors. In essence, organisations have to learn how to identify the critical issues of ERP implementation to realise the benefits and to avoid implementation failure (Holland and Light, 1999).
Implementing an ERP system is for many organisations the largest project they have ever undertaken, entailing the largest potential advantages and possibly the largest potential risks. Davenport (1998), Gibson et al. ...
Zamboni (1999) and Davenport (1998) agree that the implementation of ERP, whether it is developed by an IT department in an organisation or bought as a ready-made package from the market, requires major capital investments.
Overall, ERP is a relatively new phenomenon, and the empirical research related to it is not extensive (Somers and Nelson, 2001). Zarotsky (2006) suggests that the questions regarding to ERP system implementation are being raised faster than they can be answered. In general, most of the researches on ERP systems deal with the question of how to implement it successfully in an adopting organisation (Brehm and Markus, 2000; Brehm et al., 2001).
Markus and Tanis ( 2001) point out that some studies have concentrated mainly on initial implementation activities, and have not paid enough attention to the overall ERP software life cycle, particularly ongoing use and upgrades. However, Zarotsky (2006) cites that some researches have started to investigate the use of diverse theoretical frameworks and perspectives to address various ERP issues.
However, on the whole, most studies have paid little attention to differences between the ERP package life cycle and the traditional system development life cycle (SDLC) (Markus and Tanis, 2001). Textbooks on system analysis and design focus mainly on traditional custom software development, often neglecting maintenance, and many do not mention the ERP software package as a way to support business processes (Markus and Tanis, 2001).
In this respect, the over riding factor to keep in mind is that the implementation of an ERP system is essentially different from a traditional systems development life cycle (Somers and Nelson, 2001).
In fact, successful ERP project implementation is complex and difficult.