ERP Implementation - Doing It Right

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Blog posted by : Admin / 17 Mar, 2020

Everyone in the modern business world understands the importance of ERP. But while everyone tends to focus on the importance of finding the right solution, most people tend to overlook what is quite possibly the most important factor in determining the success of any solution. There is a villain that goes undetected in a lot of failed ERP solutions. This overlooked villain is improper implementation.

All the effort put into finding the right solution to fit one’s needs will end up bearing no fruits if the solution is not implemented in the right manner. The ERP implementation life cycle will not only directly determine the success of the solution, but also the degree of its effectiveness. This is where most organisations miss the trick in their ERP journey. Many organisations work rigorously to find the right ERP solution but drop the ball in the implementation. Even the best of the ERP solutions can be rendered fruitless due to improper implementation.

A well-designed ERP implementation life cycle will ensure maximum benefit from the solution. 

Once you have chosen the right ERP solution for your organisation, we suggest the following ERP implementation methodology for maximum benefit. Follow these ERP implementation steps for a successful implementation:

1. Create a detailed summary of the scope of the program

As with any kind of a project, it is important here as well to formulate a detailed summary of the implementation program. This will include listing down the goals and objectives that the project aims to achieve. The agenda of the project needs to be clearly defined with a clear definition of purpose. A clear definition of purpose is the key to the success of any engagement.

Once the purpose and objectives of the program are defined, it is imperative to organise an implementation team and assign roles.

The right team will be key in ensuring the correct path for the implementation and smooth realisation of the project.

2. Formulate a change management plan

The implementation of the ERP system is going to cause a transformation at the core level of the organisation. And this step is probably the most crucial part of ensuring effective and efficient implementation. An in-depth change management plan needs to be created for ensuring that all the disruptive changes that will be caused in the organisation are accounted for and will be tackled accordingly.

This also includes creating a definite implementation schedule with a timeline for user-base training, testing, and other technical activities related to go-live and cost forecasts. Sufficient resources (both human and otherwise) need to be allocated towards the implementation. 

3. Define the phases of implementation

Without a proper breakdown of the phases in which the implementation needs to take place, the process will run into chaos. Due to a lack of structure, the project will take undefined paths leading to dead-ends, loops and impasses. Defined phases of implementation will provide a roadmap to follow that will ensure an organised and structured implementation flow.

4. Data Migration

Once all planning is taken care of, it is time to get down to business. This starts of course, with migrating the data from the existing system to your new ERP system. This is a crucial step for obvious reasons. Any system is only as good as its data; if the data is inaccurate, or incomplete, the output rendered by the system will be compromised.

The first step is to cleanse and verify legacy data. Once the data is processed as needed, it is time to transfer it to the new system. After the completion of data transfer, thorough verification of data integrity and data mapping will complete the data migration process.

5. User Training

No matter how capable an ERP system is; it is not going to be of any avail unless users know how to use it. Even with an ERP system that is developed to be user-friendly for technophobes, user training is very crucial.

The User Training Program needs to be purposed to enable users to draw maximum benefit out of the system. Make sure that the user training is also optimised to fulfil the needs of various user groups. It is also important to offer role-based training to employees.

Another crucial aspect is to make sure that you choose the correct training method. Online training and in-person training, both have their pros and cons to consider, be sure to choose the method that best suits your needs. A good feedback incorporation system makes a huge impact in ensuring the fruitfulness of the training.

6. Testing and Go-Live

Your final checklist before going live ought to include:

  1. Check auto-backup functionalities

  2. Make sure that adequate resources from the IT team are assigned and ready to go to work

  3. Communication of system downtime

  4. Ensure that all technical requirements are taken care of

  5. Testing (pre-go-live)

  6. Go Live

And that’s a wrap for your ERP implementation process. Do not forget that proper post-go-live proceedings are just as important to ensure ideal results.

 


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