What are your next steps after Part 1 which covers the selection process?

When planning for a new ERP solution, remember it is NOT an IT system implementation.  Success will be measured by the improvements in performance and efficiencies achieved as a direct result of the solution that is implemented.

How do you define objectives?

Evaluation of the business processes of the entire organization is critical to identify areas to be improved or enhanced.   Implementation objectives must be clearly defined and prioritized and a “roadmap” developed.

People from each functional area of the company should be involved from the very beginning. These individuals should analyze and document processes that can be improved.  Examples might include the integration of outlying systems, streamlining customer billing, reducing the number of “offline” spreadsheets and improving reporting.

In order to present a case for improvement, you must show how the capabilities within ERP technology will achieve the objectives of the implementation.  The business case should address the benefits to be achieved and how the system and business process changes will impact all stakeholders within the organization.

The creation of a comprehensive plan and project charter that presents each critical task with the related responsibilities and timelines are key factors for the success of the project.

What is an “A” team?

Diverse internal resources are key to assembling a successful project team.  A well-chosen team will be best suited to provide valuable input during the planning, design and decision making stages of the implementation.

A-team members should come from each functional area of the company and should have extensive knowledge related to operations, customers, vendors and policies. These team members should be respected by their peers.  They should exhibit drive and initiative to push the project forward and promote buy-in from all stakeholders.

Is project management important?

Project management is key to the success of any ERP implementation.  Not only should your vendor assign a skilled PM to keep all the moving parts in sync, but you should select an internal project manager from within your A-Team.  The project managers keep the teams working together. Effective project management will reduce communication gaps and keep decision making on schedule. By working together the internal and external project managers can oversee the project timeline to assure that critical milestones are hit.

What next? Stay Tuned for Part 3

Mitigating Resistance – Training – Testing