What are the Stages of Implementation?
Updated on September 29, 2021 | by Alex Smith
The ERP implementation process is a highly complex and detailed one, as it involves many parties with competing interests. This complexity is one reason why so many companies outsource implementation to an experienced and knowledgeable team.
In this blog post, we will outline the basic stages of an ERP implementation project from start to finish. We’ll also discuss some important considerations that you should keep in mind when beginning your project.
Also Read: What are the steps in AP Process
The Process from Start to Finish
The first step in the implementation process is to build a solid business case that outlines all the expected benefits and provides comparisons to similar companies. This will be used by upper management as their justification for moving forward with your project, so it’s important to make sure it contains both quantifiable results like increased revenue per employee and qualitative ones, such as increased customer satisfaction.
From there, it’s time to decide who will actually handle the project and what kind of timeline you’ll need for completion. Your company should consider outsourcing this task because it requires a lot of specialized knowledge that your employees might lack. Also, these projects can turn into all-consuming “black holes” that suck up a lot of time and money.
The Project Plan
Next, you’ll need to create a project plan with an accompanying budget for your team’s approval. This will also be used by management as their justification for moving forward with this project. So, it needs to present a realistic timeline, along with the anticipated costs and a schedule for reviews and updates.
Once the plan is approved, your team will begin by deploying one of the software packages that you’ve selected to run on top of your existing hardware infrastructure. Deploying this package will allow employees to access an online portal where they can log in and get up-to-date information about their department’s activities.
The Test Phase
After that, you will implement the processes and workflows associated with your new software using “dummy” data for an initial test run. This dummy data provides employees with a sample of what they can expect once their actual records enter into the system, so it’s important not to make any mistakes at this stage.
Once the processes and workflows have been thoroughly tested, you will begin to transition employees over to your new system by using a “dummy” data set, once again, for an initial test run. Remember that it’s important not to make any mistakes during this period because they could result in major issues down the line, like duplicate transactions.
Finally, you will begin to enter all of your department’s actual data into the system. This is when everything starts coming together and employees can work with their new software using real data. Expect to see purchase orders, customer information, and other related data going live on the system.
Things to Consider When Beginning Your Project
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts and deadlines that all need to be met for an ERP implementation project to succeed. Therefore, it’s important not only to have a solid business case prepared but also to make sure your management is supportive of the entire process from start to finish.
If they’re not on board with this transition, it could lead to delays, which would ultimately make the entire process more expensive and time-consuming in the end.
If you’re not sure how to proceed with your business case or project plan, feel free to consult a knowledgeable company for assistance. However, if your management is skeptical about moving forward with an ERP project, it’s important not to push them into a decision that they’ll regret later. Instead, build out a solid business case for why this implementation would benefit your company in both the short and long term.
Here’s What a Typical Day During the Implementation Process Looks Like
The first thing you’ll do every morning is check in with the project manager to see how things are progressing and if any issues need your attention.
After this, you should plan out what tasks you’re going to accomplish for each day by checking in with your team members about their progress. It is also a good idea to speak with them one-on-one to assess their morale and how they’re feeling about the project.
You should also conduct a round of testing with all parties involved so that you can identify any potential issues before things go live. This will help prevent major problems like duplicate transactions down the line.