Enterprise Resource Planning

Enterprise Resource Planning

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Executive summary. 2

Critique. 2

Importance of the Study. 3

Conclusions. 3

References. 5

Executive summary

            This article examines the issue of project implementation in relation to enterprise resource planning (ERP). The aim of the paper is to highlight various dimensions of ERP system implementation using the case study of Rolls-Royce’s ERP system. Using the case study methodology, the authors point out that various business, technical, and cultural problems influenced Rolls-Royce’s choice of ERP software package and process of implementation. It also points out that replacing the existing legacy systems with the new ERP system was a difficult, time-consuming process because of the numerous disparate systems involved.



            This case study offers a fairly good example of how a giant manufacturing company can bring together operations in its numerous business units through ERP implementation. The challenges that Rolls-Royce experienced during this process are not unique to this company; they should be expected to occur in any other company that chooses to make changes to the existing system through ERP. For example, the cultural problems that were experienced at Rolls-Royce were closely related to opposition to change.


It is worthwhile to mention that implementers of the ERP system realized that despite its better functionality, the new system would in some cases be looked down upon in preference for the old system. Such a challenge is to be expected at all large organizations where efforts are being made to replace existing legacy systems with an ERP system. This detailed analysis presented in this paper facilitates an in-depth understanding of problems and possible solutions.

Importance of the Study

The study is important for various reasons. To begin with, it outlines some of the challenges companies can expect to encounter during ERP project implementation and possible ways of addressing them. For example, at Rolls-Royce, employees working in cross-functional workshops quickly realized that they had to adjust their working practices in order for the new ERP system to fit in. This essentially meant changing Rolls-Royce’s way of doing business.

            The article also draws attention to the fact that some problems are company-specific, meaning that problem-solving efforts tend to vary from one company to the other. For example, Rolls-Royce faced the technical problem of data accuracy. For the new system to take effect, IT experts had to retrieve old data from the existing legacy systems. This data had to be normalized, screened, and stored in formats that were both compatible with the data repository of the new system and easy to retrieve by company staff. This challenge was particularly daunting for Rolls-Royce because of the many disparate enterprise information systems that used to operate independently of one another. To solve this problem, the company had to keep the old systems running until an appropriate time came for them to be phased out by the new ERP system.


            ERP implementation is a difficult undertaking particularly for companies with large, complex business processes such as Rolls-Royce. It is fraught with administrative problems due to the radical changes that follow the installation of new enterprise information systems. Radical changes to business operations are inevitable in order to overcome some of these problems. The case of Rolls-Royce shows that the company understood the business, technical, and cultural problems that it was going to encounter during ERP implementation.

In conclusion, the article emphasizes the fact that companies seeking to implement new enterprise information systems should expect the process to be time-consuming and complex; it involves training people to get used to a new way of doing business, getting accustomed to modern IT equipment, and dealing with many legacy systems simultaneously before phasing out the old systems.


Yusuf, Y., Gunasekaran, A. & Abthorpe, M. (2004). Enterprise information systems project implementation: A case study of ERP in Rolls-Royce. International journal of production and economics, 87, 251-266.

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