Best Practices for a Successful ERP Software Implementation
Are you thinking about implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution? Well, consider this your best practices checklist for the implementation process. Nothing has a more significant impact on the long-term success or failure of your ERP system that the quality of the implementation. Done well, you’re more likely to experience a greater ROI (Return on Investment) in a lot less time. If the implementation process was poorly executed, you could waste a lot of time and money without ever seeing any advantages.
With so much riding on the ERP implementation, it’s crucial to make every effort to optimize the process. That means taking on the implementation with a clear understanding of what you need to do, when you need to do it and why. Here are some great best practices to consider before starting your ERP software implementation.
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Evaluate Your Hardware
If you need to supplement your IT infrastructure in order to implement your ERP on-premise, it’s good to start by figuring out what you will need, how much it will cost, and how you can go about installing it. With a cloud-based ERP solution, however, your hardware requirements are pretty much non-existent since it’s in “the cloud.”
Consider the following questions for data transfer
It’s important to assess the complexity, risk and data integration challenges you may run into while implementing. Here are some questions to consider prior to starting your implementation project:
- Does your implementation team have a strategy for dealing with data migration?
- How will you prioritize which data is important to migrate?
- Are there any complexities in processes that the new system would enable you to reduce or eliminate?
- Is the ERP implementation project team open-minded about changes to business processes?
These are all extremely important questions to ask your team and yourself before starting ANY software implementation because this is very well one of the hardest parts of an ERP implementation process. Figure out exactly what data needs to be transferred, where it is located, what the transfer itself will require, and how you can test that the transfer was successful and complete. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t leave any data behind, or else it could cost you.
Create an ERP project team and devote time for software training
By gathering your top notch experts and stakeholders in the implementation process, you can ensure that you meet all the requirements possible. Figure out who needs to be involved, engage them, enlist their help, and create a schedule for meetings and updates.
Training end users to embrace and employ an ERP solution as completely as possible is not easy. We suggest gathering some training resources and figuring out how much time and money you can dedicate to the process, and how you will track understanding and engagement of the new software.
- Are the internal and external teams aligned on project responsibilities?
- Is a good communications strategy in place to deal with change management challenges?
Note implementation project timelines
Your ERP implementation project should somewhat depend on schedules and timelines. This way, it is much easier to track your progress and adjust accordingly. Determine benchmarks that define success or failure, it’s unrealistic to expect any software implementation to proceed perfectly. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore the scope or scale of mistakes and setbacks. Is there a good project plan with identified stages and a regular schedule of collaborative calls with all the team members involved?
Consider creating testing scenarios
Any successful implementation project involves testing every aspect of the ERP solution before going live with it. The most successful companies take the “measure twice, cut once” approach to technology implementation. By creating testing scripts or scenarios, it will ensure you run every possible procedure through every possible motion. It’s always better to prolong testing rather than going live with a mediocre application. If the system is going to work, it’s vital that the users are exposed to rigorous testing using process scripts that match the future state definition.
Looking for more? Download our ERP buyers guide for free and compare the top-24 products available on the market with full page vendor profiles. The guide includes four key capabilities to look for in an ERP solution, plus five questions to ask yourself and five questions to ask the software provider before purchasing. It’s the perfect resource for anyone looking to find right ERP for their business/organization.