Three Tips for ERP Implementation Success

At the beginning of every year, I try to set both personal and professional goals for myself.  One of my 2015 goals was to run a long distance race and this past May, I completed my first half marathon where I happily finished within 30 seconds of my goal time.  While this was a wonderful accomplishment, I have to admit that prior to my decision to sign up for the race, I could barely run an entire mile without fatigue and ultimately, slowing to walk.  When I decided to run the 13.1 mile distance, I knew I would need a solid training plan, a coach who could help me work through the process and most important, buy-in and support from not only myself but also my family members. 

The same concept can apply for businesses implementing an ERP system.  What may seem like a major undertaking can have a successful result with proper project management, education and following best practices.  Below are three tips from Team SYSPRO to help you achieve your goal of ensuring ERP implementation success.

Tip 1: Spend Time Reviewing and Evaluating Business Processes with Your Implementation Team: Implementing an ERP system usually requires time with your vendor to help them understand your business requirements so that they can configure a solution to deliver the most effective results.

Your ERP vendor and the implementation team need to understand your processes, how each process has to work and how the ERP system will fit in with these processes. Having open communication with your vendor and spending time reviewing these processes is a key component to implementation success.  Once the process is reviewed, your implementation team will create a solution based on your business model and will apply these findings to the plan in order to make the software and your business work cohesively.

Tip 2: Clearly Define Project Ownership and Project Management Responsibilities:  At the beginning of the implementation process, it is critical to clearly define and delegate responsibilities to each team member. This applies to both the company and the vendor.  Ownership of these responsibilities, in addition to the rules and roles that apply to it, are critical to the success of a project. If the ownership roles are not identified and accepted and if ownership rules are not understood and applied, then problems may arise during implementation.

It is also important to examine and understand the key ownership roles, particularly those of the project manager and the project coordinator, focusing upon the roles that these two key players hold within the context of implementing the system. Without ownership of each step of the process, ERP implementation may never truly achieve the desired results.

Tip 3: Properly Educate Your Users: A business can spend an ample amount of time re-defining processes and implementing a new system, but if users don’t have proper knowledge of how to use this new system, then the project can never really reach its full potential. Educating your employees may also help them overcome the fear of change associated with the new system, and help contribute to “user buy-in.”  Users who have been properly trained are able to utilize the full power and functionality of their software and make a rapid transition to the new system.

In addition to the above points, there are many other factors that contribute to a successful implementation.  Having open communication with your implementation team, clearly defining roles and project ownership, and knowing the importance of educating your users on the system are just a few steps that will help ensure your business sees ERP implementation success.

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