Factors which influence the success of ERP project implementation - Part 3

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The post is continuation of my earlier post (Part 1) and (Part 2) on the same subject. We will now look at other few factors.

Phase 3:

Business Process Engineering or Re-engineering: An ERP system has to be configured to work as per expectation. The business processes have to be mapped to ERP product and set up have to be configured. The process of requirement gathering towards set up requires coordinated effort between functional consultant and the business process area owners through workshops. An iterative approach needs to be followed, meaning the system has to be set up 2 to 3 times to map the requirement and refined if needed, before actually performing the set up in production system. Such iterative approaches of mapping business to systems are referred as ‘Conference room pilots’ (CRP). Data migration from legacy system and their strategy, Interfaces to feeder system needs to defined and agreed up and tested.

Training: At times, training to end user is overlooked. Inadequate training is the one of the cause for bottleneck in training. If possible it’s better to work out a strategy for measuring the training effectiveness. There are some thoughts that training can be done towards production move. But, its better training is provided from the stage of defining business process, so that even if there is a change in business process user can appreciate the changes.

Support team & cut over planning: It equally critical, plan is also worked out for the support team to be in place post go-live. Normally Implementation team would be handing over to the support team. The support team is either in-house or out sourced. Cut over planning means the activities that would be carried out by the time users stops entering into the legacy system and the time by which user starts using new ERP system. Effort also need to put towards cut over planning particularly, the activities as how reconciliation of legacy and new ERP system would be performed post Go-Live and as what are the activities, which would be performed during the cut over period with assigned owner to each task.

Go-Live and beyond: Beyond go – live, there is a certain period, which is required towards stabilization of the system. It’s also easier said than done. Though these can be guidelines for a general scenario, each of the ERP project are unique has its own challenges and situation changes based on various factors, this is where project managers and PMO can play a vital role in steering the project to safety and thereby achieve the end objective of a successful implementation.

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