Determining critical success factors for implementation of on-line registration systems
Thompson, Robyn Cindy
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The assignment of identifying Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for the successful implementation of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems has become an important problem in the information system (IS) research. The necessity to identify CSFs becomes perceptible because of the failure often associated with the ERP system implementation in corporate organisations. The investigation and identification of CSFs will help cut costs of implementing ERP systems in organisations by giving higher precedence to the most critical factors. Literature has indicated that some factors of ERP system implementation labelled as critical are, in most cases, not critical for achieving success in the ERP system implementation. It can be argued that the inherent prediction error in the identification of CSFs is associated with the method employed for identifying criticality. Certain researchers have asserted that many of the studies on CSFs have based their findings on the use of content analysis method to identify and classify implementation factors of ERP systems as critical or not, rather than empirical findings. This intrinsic drawback has led researchers to suggest the use of sound scientific methods such as the structural equation modelling technique to identify CSFs to help guide the implementation of ERP systems in organizations. However, because of the limitations of the existing findings, the expectation is still much higher in effectively resolving the problem of identifying CSFs, in general. The overarching aim of this study was to determine those factors that are deemed critical for the successful implementation of the on-line registration system as an archetype of ERP system at HEIs. It was necessary to, firstly, identify common factors that have a significant impact on ERP system implementation and, secondly, to ascertain whether the identified factors are applicable in HEI settings, particularly to the on-line registration system. This study plans an in-depth exploration of the implementation of an on-line registration system with the identified factors forming the precursor to unearth those factors that are critical for the success of implementing on-line registration systems. The study has adopted a post-positivism mixed methods approach to identify and verify CSFs of the on-line registration system implementation, taking into consideration higher-order relationships between the factors. Data gathering took place using expert judgement with the involvement of role players in the implementation of on-line registration systems. The ADVIAN classification method provides the analytic tool for identifying factors that are deemed critical for successful implementation of on-line registration systems. The results reveal the existence of various dimensions of criticality with organisational culture and ERP strategy and implementation methodology emerging as critical factors, while the driving factors for implementation include ERP vendor support and guidance, senior and top management support, project plan with agreed objectives and goals, project management to implement project plan and project leader. It is established that the driven factors that should be observed when intervention measures are implemented include change management, post-implementation evaluation, software testing and troubleshooting, user training and user involvement. It is hoped that the CSFs discovered in this study will contribute towards the under-researched area of ERP and pragmatically aid the improvement of a process area that is in desperate need of business process re-engineering at HEIs.