Principles #1-4 to Guide You Through to a Successful ERP Implementation
Companies facing ERP implementation know some of the common challenges they’ll face through the process, including unforeseen costs, timeline overruns and operational disruptions. To some, ERP implementation evokes a fear of the unknown while others may recall a poorly executed implementation from a past experience. Whether you’re implementing an ERP software system for the first time or coming off of a legacy system into an upgrade, much of the perceived headache surrounding your ERP transition can be avoided with a bit of preparation.
We’ve seen companies diving into their implementation without the thorough due diligence and planning required, so we broke the process into 8 principles to guide you to ERP implementation success. Here are principles 1-4:
Companies facing ERP implementation need to focus on business processes and requirements first. Business requirements should be defined during vendor selection and refined throughout implementation. Your business, IT, and ERP strategies should be in place before you prepare and review the implementation project scope. By drilling down to the specific nuances of your existing ERP as well as those affecting your company and its operations, you and your team can engage in more effective evaluations and have fewer hiccups.
Successful projects begin with support from all levels of management, including the entire C-level, to address problems and initiate solutions. Properly managed and supported ERP projects run smoother when there is a strong management commitment throughout the effort. Organizations performing regular project reviews with executive or steering committees are able to maintain a respective project momentum by addressing problems as they arise with proper visibility across the organization.
Begin by carefully defining the scope of your ERP implementation project while focusing on specific business processes and system requirements. The more specific you are, the more accurately detailed your vendor proposals will be. Defining those core business requirements and the functionalities needed to support then, such as data management and business intelligence, is key. The clearer picture you create regarding your needs from the new ERP, the more likely the experience will be positive.
Putting the right team together for your ERP implementation team is vital to a successful deployment. An ERP system is a company-wide solution with users in separate departments, as such the team you assemble for this implementation should be cross-departmental, everything from highly-skilled IT personnel to the daily end-users.
It’s vitally important that the ERP implementation team includes professionals who can commit their time to the project. Management should empower the team as a whole to take initiative and make decisions throughout the project. Take the extra steps needed to ensure your in-house SMEs form a transparent working relationship with your vendor’s consultants.
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