ERP Software Implementation projects are tarnished for their failure rate & mysterious ROI. Although there is plenty of information and resources available for companies who are embarking on this journey, failure rate doesn’t seem to be declining.
Today, we are discussing five things that will help you succeed in your ERP implementation project.
Here is my top 5 ERP Implementation tips to complete your ERP project like a champ.
Many ERP projects in Small or Medium Businesses begin with either inadequate goals or goals which are not SMART enough.
In Tony Robins
words, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”.
Having a list of well thought & realistic goals will help you stay on track and successfully execute your ERP project. E.g. Save the time of accounting staff on reporting work by X % in next 6 months. It would also help in tracking potential ROI in the post ERP implementation stage. If required, take help of independent consultants to plan your “mission ERP”.
It’s important that you start seeing expected results in few months after deploying the new system as you would have invested significant efforts by this time and you deserve the fruit of your labour.
Plan Thoroughly & Track Progress
Plan, Plan, Plan and stick to the plan.
Unarguably, planning is the most critical stage of any project. ERP projects require time, resources & efforts. Usually SMEs struggle with resources needed for ERP implementation. Be it in-house experts or the regular involvement of the key stakeholders. You will need to plan for everything that might affect this project schedules. It may not be directly associated with a project. For instance, the annual conference of your industry or opening of your new branch office would require the attention of your team hence ERP software could put aside to gather dust.
Keep some dedicated time aside for update meetings and watch the progress closely. Checking on progress status on regular basis would help you avoid any potential delays & pitfalls.
Engage Everyone from the team
Now we understand that Small businesses lack time and resources which are easily available with their larger counterparts. Not engaging your entire team in this project could turn out to be a bad idea. After all, ERP is going to touch everyone’s work-life in your company. Buying the end user’s interest in the early stage of ERP system implementation will be a huge plus for success of the project. Quite often, end users are kept in dark till the ERP training stage where they get surprised by finding the new system does not work as per their expectations and the resistance to change
It is also important to consider the nitty-gritty of your business during the early stage of ERP system implementation as these small changes in workflows could have a significant impact on the overall business efficiency.
So, have everyone participate in this project and listen to all of their ideas to come up with a solid ERP strategy.
Focus on Need Analysis & End User Training
ERP Projects usually has 5 key stages. Business Requirement Analysis, Software installation & Configuration, Conference Room Pilots, End User Training & Transition (commonly referred to as “GO live”).
Identifying key business requirements and aligning them to the software of choice
is crucial. In the first stage of the project, there will be many meetings and discussions. This could feel overwhelming, especially when you are implementing ERP for the first time. But stay focused and invest time and attention in this stage as you will be setting the foundation for your ERP initiative. You would also be able to identify if there are any gaps that exist between your process and the chosen software. Knowing the gaps and workarounds early on would eliminate discussions & changes in later stages.
You would also need to reserve more time for training your staff. With a new ERP system, your team not only has to learn new software but also get adapt to the newly incorporated business processes. This is something that cannot be ignored.
If your team is well trained on how to use the new software and they’ve understood the importance of changes made to the business process, it will be much easier to transit from the old system to the new one, and also, it will eliminate glitches when the ERP goes live in full force.
Be in control of Change
By nature, we humans are resilient to change. One of the most common reasons for ERP project failure is not managing the Change effectively.
ERP system implementation brings that change to your organization which devastates employees. So be in charge of the change and help your team to understand the importance of it. Share your vision and objectives of implementing the new system and provide the necessary training so that it becomes easy for people to adapt to the improved circumstances.
The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress - Charles Kettering
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