Now that we finished the software selection process, it is time to put the new technology to work. Time for implementation. But implementing a completely new system or replacing an existing one is a challenging undertaking. Not only are the risks for project success genuine, but the most significant risks are also in the disruption of the operation of your business. To manage these risks, you need a balanced team and, of course, clearly defined steps to be taken.
Getting the right people on board your project is crucial. The future users of the systems are part of this group. Not only will they bring much-needed business knowledge, but they will also be the advocates of the new system.
The project management team will, next to the project leader, include an executive who will join the project in a part-time role. He or she will be there to provide the necessary resources and make the expectations from senior management crystal clear.
When the team is up and running, it is time to take the necessary steps for implementation. We use the following (high level) steps in our projects:
A good plan is a basis for every successful project. We like to keep plans pragmatic and to the point. The plan is the main instrument to prevent surprises and manage exceptions.
In this phase, we make a high-level design, where the architecture of your landscape will be worked out in detail.
In this step, we configure an environment according to our best practices. We will demo this environment is a workshop and see if and how the best practices will fit in your organization. In these workshops will identify the processes that will make our company unique and make the necessary adjustments in the next prototype, to ensure your company will keep their competitive advantages.
When the prototype is done, we will validate the solution. The project team will ensure that all functionality as developed in the prototype phase works as described and the historical data will be processed correctly. In this phase, the user acceptance test will take place and we will train the key-users to work with the system, which will ensure all knowledge transfer is covered early in the project.
At the end of this step, there will be a validated test environment and a signed-off data migration strategy.
When implementing an ERP solution, your organization will experience operational change as well. Business processes will be optimized, and employee roles might (slightly) change. With a change in the organization, you will usually meet employee resistance. Prosci describes change management as “the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes “. At 2-cnnct we support your organization with a structured way to implement change.
Even though we refer to organizational change, it is, in fact, the employee that needs to change how he or she does its job. Our model to support change is based on the ADKAR model. In this model we describe 5 tangible outcomes that people need to achieve for lasting change:
We cannot embed the business change in your organization on our own, so whenever we are working on a project, the project team will closely cooperate with all stakeholders in your cooperation, to keep all faces pointed in the same direction. By working with a common model, we will introduce a common language that will make possible difficult conversions more outcome–oriented.
When change is managed carefully, you can expect the solution to be accepted by the business and have a platform that is ready to support the scale of the live operation of your organization. So, at the end of this stage, you can to be confident the new ERP landscape can be taken into production.
In this step, we bring the new solution to live. The first period when your organization uses the system is crucial. To make especially this period successful, we are there to offer hyper care for the end-users.
In this step, we make sure the solution meets all the requirements and we make an inventory of additional training needs and reports and analytics that need to be added. Next to that, the transfer of support from the project team, to the eventual support team is handled. After the stabilizing step it’s vital to keep the system adapting to the changing needs of your business. We call this process: success management.
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A new ERP? Let’s say you need to figure out what ERP-system is the best fit for your organization. That shouldn’t be hard, right? I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news for you. There are more than 250 systems to go over! Choosing the right one can be hard; that’s why we created a list with the top 7 ERP vendors of 2020 for you.