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ERP Implementation Process

Key Factors to a Successful ERP Implementation

Any system is only as good as its implementation.

Organizations need to not only recognize and understand the success drivers, but also to take action on related preparatory recommendations that support them.

Unfortunately, some companies view ERP implementation as simply a software system and the implementation of ERP as primarily a technological challenge. They do not understand that ERP implementation may fundamentally change the way in which the organization operates.

The success of an ERP implementation depends on a lot of variables. It is therefore impossible to have complete control over the project. However, you can significantly increase the chances of success by having control over a few factors of crucial importance:

1. Get your strategic goals right

Your ERP program should suit your business, but it can only do so if you know what your business is trying to achieve with an ERP package. So, think about business objectives and ensure that your ERP strategy folds around these objectives rather than aimlessly implementing features which sound attractive, but which do not offer meaningful benefits for your business.

2. Pay attention to the management

Successful ERP implementation requires the organization engage in excellent project management. IT should not be the only area responsible for the project. Senior managers and mid-level managers should be involved in the project from its inception to its completion. This gives the project the proper visibility across the organization and shows the staff in general the importance of the project.

3. Budget Rigorously

Organizations must create a realistic budget to include all costs for the implementation, such as software, hardware and staff resources.

Implementation will carry several layers of costs, including software license fees and the help of an integrator. Other costs include internal staff’s time as well as any disruption to your business during implementation. Add these costs up and budget so that a lack of resources does not trip up your ERP program.

4. Clearly define the roles and responsibilities

An organization that starts with an ERP implementation does so with a team of members from various departments. Before you start, make sure to clearly agree what each person does and what he/she is responsible for. Then everyone is concise of what he/she should do, how much time they will spend on the project and which decisions and activities they need to take care of. Proactively monitoring all this is crucial.

5. Test as Your Progress

Correcting course once your implementation is nearly complete can be expensive and time-consuming. Wherever possible test software and processes to see whether the implementation is achieving what it should be. Measure results: gauge to what extent ERP is meeting your objectives throughout the implementation period.