All entries for Saturday 05 April 2014

April 05, 2014

Enterprise Resource Planning Integration (ERPI) for Project Management


Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are designed to reduce data inconsistency and redundancy, via the creation and maintenance of a central database of corporate information. In addition to the reduction of errors or omissions during data entry, ERP systems also provide stakeholders with real-time information which facilitates decision-making, and integrates multiple business processes without the need for manual intervention (Ehie & Madsen, 2005:545). In the same vein, Williams & Parr (2006: 115-129) define a Project Management System (PMS) as an enterprise application that facilitates the delivery of projects by providing several functions, including:

  • Documentation and dissemination of progress reports
  • Provision of organisational templates, policies and procedures
  • Building up of a repository of information on all aspects of the project
  • Automation of workflow processes
  • Serving as a platform for reporting and enterprise-wide communication

Furthermore, one of the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for the selection and implementation of a viable PMS within an organisation is that it should be capable of being integrated with other existing enterprise applications (Williams & Parr, op.cit.:115). In recognition of this necessity, the major ERP vendors (Baan, J.D Edwards, Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP) have developed a project management application within their ERP tools (Kabanis, 1999:30).

Prior to this innovation, project managers used ‘best-of-breed’ project management solutions in carrying out their activities; however, they had trouble communicating project status and performance with the central system, or, they had to make duplicate entries into both the PMS and ERP systems, which wasted time and created opportunities for error. Therefore, the added project functionality of ERP systems means that project managers can plan, execute, monitor and control projects in a familiar environment, using familiar tools, which receive and store information within a central database (Kabanis, op.cit.).

Thus, the integration of an ERP system for project management provides enterprise-wide access to real-time data regarding resource utilisation, cost, and schedule performance. It also enhances reporting, documentation and information management, as well as facilitates communication among stakeholders. Moreover, the ERP system endows project managers with visibility within an organisation, as their activities can be directly seen to impact both top-line revenue growth and bottom-line profits (Kabanis, op.cit.:32).


Ehie, Ike & Madsen, Mogens. (2005). ‘Identifying Critical Issues in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Implementation’, Computers In Industry, 56(6), pp. 545-557.

Kabanis, Jeanette. (1999). ‘ERP: Integrating Project Management into the Enterprise’, PM Network, February 1999, pp. 29-32.

Raymond, Louis & Bergeron, Francis. (2008). ‘Project Management Information Systems: An Empirical Study of their Impact on Project Managers and Project Success’, International Journal of Project Management, 26(2), pp. 213-220.

Williams, David & Parr, Tim. (2006). Enterprise Programme Management. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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