ERP implementation project consists of the various steps and phases. While no two ERP projects are the same, there are some general ground rules and the steps to follow to help guide your project to a successful end. If you are in the market for a new or to upgraded Enterprise Resource Planning solution, you’ll want to prepare for success. The 7 steps below will help you stick to budgets, streamline the process, and successfully adopt ERP into your business strategy. These tactics have helped the numerous companies to have a successful ERP implementation.
1. Communicate a clear vision
If you are tasked with heading your ERP implementation team, you’ll need the support of both your superiors and your employees. It’s important to communicate a clear vision of what the new ERP will do for your company both immediately and in the future. Executives want to know that the expenditure will be worth it and when they can expect to see a return on their investment. Because change in procedures can be difficult for some employees, it’s important that they understand the benefits of the system as it pertains to their individual jobs as well as to the entire company and its goals. Having a clear vision and maintaining focus will help keep your project on track and prevent scope creep.
2. Keep everyone involved
Your management team and your employees who will work with the system day to day know your business processes best. Configuring the system to your needs should be a collaborative effort. Your ERP implementation partner will use your feedback, but they can’t read your minds. Take an active interest. Get involved in the test phase, and be sure that all the users are familiar with the system before it ever goes live.
3. Choose a champion and an ERP implementation team
Assign one member of your team to lead the ERP implementation project and work together with your ERP implementation partner. Your champion does not have to be an IT expert, but they should have good technical skills and understand your organization’s business processes completely. They should also know your staff and have good interpersonal skills. Your champion should have decision-making authority. It will be necessary for your champion to understand the priority of this role and be prepared to spend a lot of their time on it. So, it may be necessary to assign others to cover some of the champion’s daily work for the duration of the project. Your champion will assemble an ERP implementation team by choosing the representatives from each major business area who know their department processes well. Team members need to commit 20-30% of their time, so it may be necessary to redistribute some workloads or hire temporary employees.
4. Document your processes
Senior company managers are not always familiar with their company’s processes, which may have changed over time. Before you begin your ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) selection process, take the time to really understand your procedures, and document them. This documentations will help you to select and design the system that is best for your businesses.
5. Be flexible
Ask why your business processes are what they are and don’t accept “because we’ve always done it that way” as an answer. Your company may have come up with unusual workarounds because of the limitations of your current systems. The processes in your new system might be different than what you are used to, but before you go through the time, effort, and expense to change them, find out if they will work for you. There may be a significant advantage of changing your company’s procedures, rather than changing the software workflow.
6. Solicit input from all user groups
You can’t fulfill the wish list of every employee but ask for input from all users. Allowing them a voice will build buy-in and identify the potential problems early so you can work on the solutions. Be sure that everyone understands that a new ERP solution will affect the entire organization, and the user adoption will not be optional. Be sure to address the needs of all user groups.
7. Manage organizational change
Don’t underestimate how intimidating change can be for some people. Communication is the key to success. Highly praise the benefits of the ERP system and share the vision and the goals of the project. Talk to the least comfortable people; listen to their concerns and try to address them. Be honest. If there are concerns you can’t immediately address, communicate what the plans are to solve them and when. Schedule plenty of training time for end-users.
A new ERP implementation system represents a great change, and yours can be successful. Prudence Technology has over 10 years guiding companies through the process. If you want to learn more about how to manage and lead the people in your organization through this process, contact our implementation experts at Prudence Technology.