When your business is ready to implement new ERP & Financial Systems there are lots of things that you can do to ensure success. We’ve boiled it down to some best practices that you should always be aware of.
- If you don’t know where you are going, then any route will do. Clearly define the reason why you are implementing the ERP – what are the objectives / what will you be able to do better?
- Communicate to all the user community so there are no surprises
- Make sure that the whole team can see the vision and advantages the implementation will bring. Keep that enthusiasm alive
- Document and communicate the scope – and try to stick to it; defer extras to a second phase
- Do a thorough selection exercise to ensure that the product actually does what you need
- Hire an expert implementation team who know the product well, have business expertise and who fit with your culture
- Stay in the same boat – make sure the senior sponsors and users all agree with the objectives and the timeline
- Avoid a ‘Big Bang’; identify phases with clear deliverables and tangible results
- Create a clear and visible task plan – and be prepared to flex it
- Assign a respected internal senior person to be the responsible focal point
- Make sure you can afford it – scrimping on the test environment and training will come back to haunt you
Staying on track:
- Give it attention – make sure that the in-house experts, especially the business process leaders, have enough time to participate. Back fill the resource if you have to
- Formally review progress every week without fail
- On day 1, start analysing your data to be transferred; it is not too soon
- Recognise that your existing data will have many errors and a big clean-up is inevitable
- A new ERP / finance system is a great opportunity to review your Chart of Accounts and financial segments; make the most of it to get business information that adds value
- Don’t go overboard loading historical data; summaries and period end balances will normally be adequate
- Encourage your inhouse team to dive under the hood – start to learn the details about how it works
A good ERP implementation requires planning and collaboration. If you follow these best practices your implementation will be easy and successful!