For a manufacturing company looking to upgrade or replace their enterprise software system, it’s wise to put the focus on ERP implementation strategies that result in full utilization of the new system’s functionality and benefits.
Our team finds that a phased approach to enterprise software implementation speeds the rate of adoption, and gets a manufacturer up and running faster and with fewer disruptions to operations.
This approach takes into consideration the ERP implementation life cycle, which involves the the distinct stages in which an organization carries out an enterprise software implementation.
ERP Implementation Life Cycle
In a previous post on the first phase of the ERP implementation life cycle, we made the case that the “pre-implementation” phase is essential for building a solid foundation for your enterprise software project.
We advise for manufacturing companies to carefully manage this initial phase of their ERP implementation strategies, because success at this early stage increases the likelihood of success later on at go-live.
Today we turn to the next phase involving project planning.
3 Important ERP Implementation Strategies
Tasks that are executed during the project planning stage build upon the foundation set in pre-implementation. We advise manufacturing companies to carefully confirm all final aspects of the vendor contract, including the Statement of Work (SOW). Special care is taken during this phase to understand vendor deliverables.
Main activities that should take place in the project planning phase are as follows.
1. Establish the Project Management Office (PMO)
The PMO is the nerve center of all activities to follow, drawing from the vendor, the manufacturer and consultant resources. This is the office that manages the agreed-upon elements of the ERP Project Charter, the implementation timeline, the vendor’s SOW and other documentation.
2. Develop a 90-Day Plan
Once the enterprise software team has achieved full agreement of the final aspects of the vendor contract and the Project Management Office (PMO) is in place, the team is ready to build out a specific 90-day kick-off plan of implementation activities, with an agreed upon timeline following the scope laid out in the project charter.
3. Formulate Communications Around Your Strategies
It must be crystal-clear to the entire organization what capabilities will come from the new enterprise software system and how it will specifically help improve business performance.
A company’s requirements related to enterprise software reports are also key at this stage. Communications must address ERP project team roles and responsibilities, schedules and deadlines.
We suggest setting up formal and informal channels of communication in the form of online updates, in-person briefings and team meetings to keep the entire enterprise informed of what is going on with the enterprise software implementation.
These tasks are part of the overall enterprise project management process, and result in specific outputs. The outputs of your ERP implementation strategies and the planning stage include:
- Finalized vendor contracts
- Statement of Work (SOW)
- Project Management Office (PMO) documentation
- Detailed ERP implementation communications plan
This communications plan should include the extended supply chain, if appropriate.
A Further Look at ERP Implementation Strategies
It is clear the duration of a specific ERP implementation depends on a number of different criteria, including, but not limited to:
- Complexity of the system being implemented
- Production environment
- Number of facilities and processes
- Level of automation within the organization
- Existing IT infrastructure, and many others
To learn more about enterprise software implementation and how to get started, contact us today.