Quick Tip: Rule of ERP Implementation- Have A Written Plan
Rule #4: Have a written plan
This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP software implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation, the second rule is to have a system champion, and the third rule is to get employee buy-in.
The fourth rule, which is an important factor in any successful ERP software implementation, involves having a written plan.
A written plan is one of the most important factors because it:
- Removes ambiguity from the process
- Establishes deadlines for achieving key milestones, and
- Provides a tool for ensuring that everyone involved stays on track
In addition, a written plan serves as both a guidepost and a guiding force behind the ERP software implementation. Typically, an effective system implementation plan can be entered into only a few pages of a spreadsheet
The written plan should:
- Identify all technical needs and issues
- Include all goals and objectives
- Assign specific tasks and responsibilities to individuals
- Set deadlines for important milestones (g. data conversion, training schedules and data testing)
- Establish a firm “go live” date
Companies implementing ERP software should demand status or progress reports along the way. In fact, successful ERP implementations insist on receiving staff feedback - especially regarding areas of security, menu, help, training, conversion, or specific modules.
It is also good to require deadlines for these status reports; this way, you can expect that at a set time of the week or month, you will learn how confident your team is throughout the learning process.
Status reports provide an excellent tool of measurement during the training phase and may identify potential bottlenecks in the ERP software implementation process.
Furthermore, a good ERP implementation plan has realistic goals and considers the various workloads of departments and employees when creating a timeline.
Overloading people who are already working at full capacity will raise stress levels and increase resistance to the change. Where possible, schedule training and ERP implementation around work, rather than in place of it.
Finally, keep in mind that no matter how well-written a plan is, no ERP software implementation unfolds without some adjustments. If minor delays occur, stick to the components of the plan and be prepared to tweak the timeline to accommodate such circumstances, should they arise.
When this happens, make sure that those in charge of the implementation plan are aware of these changes. Communicating this will save your team from any confusion and keep everyone on track to reach the end goal, which is a successful ERP implementation.
Keep an eye out for the fifth rule of ERP implementation: “Develop a Training Approach”.