You’ve read our recent post addressing the common pitfalls of an outdated and homegrown Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. We know that today’s ERP solutions give your organization robust reporting and streamlined efficiency allowing company leadership to make informed business decisions. We also know ERP implementation requires significant time and resources while also delivering a diverse set of business benefits once deployed and used effectively. Congratulations, now it’s time to start considering what’s ahead for your ERP implementation.
Because of all the moving parts, the risks associated a project of this scale should remain a top priority throughout the project. Proper planning is the key to starting an implementation and puts your organization on a the path to success during and after the deployment. Prepare for your ERP implementation by addressing these common considerations of any ERP implementation.
Some organizations take on ERP selection and implementation eyeing extensive customization. It’s a mistake to attempt customize your new ERP system entirely fit your current business process. In fact, by redesigning your current processes to fit an ERP system, you are integrating tried and tested business processes from your industry and many others.
It’s vital that company leadership who grasp the benefits of the new ERP system offer support and share the vision with other business stakeholders. This helps to ensure organization-wide user adoption post-deployment. A key to ERP implementation risk is ensuring that your organization’s executives are fully on-board with the new ERP system, the implementation process, and implementation timelines. This includes allowing staff proper access to training.
Don’t rush final deployment if there is a pending issue remaining unresolved. By forging ahead, you’re welcoming the opportunity for your technology to hang operations in the balance until it’s been addressed. You certainly want to avoid being held up by unending testing, but you also want to make sure your system is in in pristine shape for final deployment. Allotting the appropriate time in your implementation schedule for thorough testing at the conclusion of each major installation stage helps you address problems and fix them as you go.
Don’t forget about the end-user. You and your colleagues who were part of the process know the system, but have you considered how departmental users will learn the system? Each department will have wholly separate uses for the new system, so work with your implementation partner to create in-depth training plans for each of the different teams. This fosters more widespread user-adoption.
It often makes sense to appoint an internal subject matter expert with a grasp on your business’s processes and recognizes the elements to making a smooth transition to the new system.
Some organizations lack in-house ERP specialists with extensive experience in various disciplines. Having the right resources in line for your ERP implementation project is imperative to its success. Ensuring you have an experienced, knowledgeable team with different roles and responsibilities to dedicate to your implementation not only keeps your project running efficiently, it ensures the quality and reliability of the entire process.
Continuing to work with the legacy applications your new ERP systems was installed to replace is a common mistake. Your new ERP system will improve business visibility and processes if you let it. You’ve invested time, money, and effort in long-term growth and development, protect your business with a solid change management strategy.
For lasting change, the emphasis must be on people and processes. Success follows from a structured, purposeful approach aimed to help transition people, teams, and organizations from their current state to the desired future state. Change management plans which address workforce transition to the new ERP system should include super-users and trainers designations.
These implementation concerns and many more are mitigated with proper knowledge and preparation leading into the project. Make each a priority at every stage of the process and your organization can enjoy implementation success.
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