Implementing ERP – Selection to Rolling out

When implementing new a ERP system, implementing on time and on budget is not by chance. As with any project plan, a detailed and methodical process is required for success. A plan for selecting and implementing new ERP software is no different than any major project being undertaken by a corporation. It requires a significant investment of time and resources, requires the involvement of virtually the entire organization, as well as a considerable amount of research, planning, and reevaluation along the way.

The best project is well thought out and fully researched. It is not limited to a budget and time line, but focuses on tasks, owners, goals, and milestones. It begins at the time of software selection and goes well beyond go-live. And although most projects will stumble along the way, successful implementations that actually end on time and on budget are quite possible if managed properly.

we preach the importance of a solid selection and implementation plan. So much so, that we will voluntarily chose not to participate in the evaluation project if we feel the prospect’s selection process lacks structure. Why would we ever do that? Because the company will never be happy. If they do not know how to evaluate their own requirements or communicate those needs to others, they’ll never be able to successfully evaluate if a vendor’s ERP solution is a good fit for their unique requirements. And unfortunately if we can’t review their requirements with them, we cannot help evaluate if our package is a good fit either.

A solid evaluation project for new ERP software is broken out into some fairly set project goals and milestones. Regardless of the company, a proper project plan should include:

– A Review of Key Business Objects & Long-term Goals
– A Formation of a Selection Team & Project Leader
– An Ongoing Project Plan
– Research & Budget Preparation
– Clearly Defined Requirements & Project Goals
– Vendor Demonstrations & an RFP
– Reference Checks
– Data Migration
– Testing, Testing, & More Testing
– Training, Training, & More Training

In reality, you can easily execute on time, on task, and on budget by controlling the entire project through conception and go live. Led by in house or through an outside professional, flawless executions of software implementations are possible. They do not happen by chance, on their own, or without effort. But they are certainly a reality if given the right team and project plan.