University of Oulu

Benefits realisation in post-implementation development of ERP systems

Saved in:
Author: Hietala, Heidi1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 83
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : H. Hietala, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-04-20
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Päivärinta, Tero
Reviewer: Liukkunen, Kari
Päivärinta, Tero


Complex applications, like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, that significantly influence organisational performance and business strategies, are the most challenging in terms of identifying and managing expected benefits. ERP systems can generate benefits from variety of underlying factors, but systems do not provide benefits on their own. In this, formal benefits realisation practices can be highly effective.

The existing ERP research has largely focused on ERP implementations leaving the post-implementation phase to lesser attention. Nevertheless, the work does not end there, but continues with post-implementation activities which aim to ensure also the future benefits from the ERP systems. Motivated by the insufficient research regarding benefits realisation in post-implementation development of ERP system, this study aimed to identify how organisations manage benefits realisation in post-implementation phase of ERP systems, what challenges they might face and how the benefits realisation is ensured. It was also the purpose to find out what tools or methods organisation use in this.

This study was a revelatory embedded single-case study with positivist approach. Qualitative data was collected from interviews and documents supported by data from the ERP system. This study is revelatory, because access was gained to the Case organisation’s data to study phenomenon inaccessible previously. The data was analysed inductively allowing patterns and concepts to arise and the findings were evaluated through theoretical lenses. The aim of all the chosen methods was to get rich, in depth understanding of the phenomenon.

It is argued that this study has created in-depth understanding of circumstances and challenges of benefits realisation in post-implementation development of ERP system providing window to phenomenon largely unstudied before. It was identified that old and evolved business processes, which are further complicated by workarounds, can be unfamiliar to Information Technology (IT) and business managers responsible of ERP development making it largely difficult to identify all benefits. Moreover, when subsidiaries are unable to identify new benefits on their own and the benefits further vary from one subsidiary to another, the complexity increases further. These unique characteristics, that surround ERP post-implementation development, require modified approach to benefits realisation practices. This is the main contribution of this study.

see all

Copyright information: © Heidi Hietala, 2020. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.