There are hundreds of articles about avoiding the potential pitfalls of an ERP implementation. That isn’t the focus here. Instead we’ll take a look at some critical steps that a company should consider and plan for before they begin the search for an ERP system.
Step #1 – Plan for Change
An ERP project is not an IT project. It is not a supply chain project, or an operations project. It is a full scope business change project. ERP implementations are often the largest projects a company may take on. The complexity, scope, and risk can be daunting. The best way to minimize risk is effective planning. First, the current business processes should be assessed and documented. Current processes serve as a basis for defining requirements. Too often the details of certain processes are only known by a few key team members. Taking the time to dive into the detail of how you do business helps prevent missing requirements and costly change orders.
Step #2 – Assemble the Team
Every project needs a project champion, but an ERP implementation requires more. Successful projects require a cross-functional team that is on board with the mission. Each business function should have a representative that is a SME in their area. These functional leads will be identifying and documenting their processes and vetting the software for functional fit. Above all, these are SME’s that believe in the project and are on board with overall project mission. In addition to being project evangelists, they need to have the authority to delegate departmental tasks and remove roadblocks to success.
Step #3 – Understand Scope and Priority
ERP implementations may last anywhere from several months to years. If time is money, then it stands to reason a project plan should be both aggressive yet realistic. The implementation should be a priority for the entire organization. As the project plan is defined and resources and activities are laid out, the exact scope will becomes clear. The initial plan and any changes must be communicated to the project team, with a continued emphasis on importance and priority. With a clear idea of scope and the pending workload, the project’s momentum is easier to drive and maintain. A stalled project can be extremely difficult to get moving again.
If you’re struggling with your ERP project or know you may need a little outside assistance, Ultra can help. From ERP selection to ERP implementation, our team has the experience to help drive your project towards a successful outcome.