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ERP Implementation:

ERP's scope usually implies significant changes to staff work processes and practices. Generally, three types of services are available to help implement such changes consulting, customization, and support. Implementation time depends on business size, number of modules, customization, the scope of process changes, and the readiness of the customer to take ownership for the project. Modular ERP systems can be implemented in stages. The typical project for a large enterprise consumes about 14 months and requires around 150 consultants. Small projects can require months; multinational and other large implementations can take years. Customization can substantially increase implementation times. Even if the organization has picked up the best ERP software, it is still possible ERP implementation can fail. ERP system implementation is both science and art that consist of planning, implementation and ongoing maintenance. As an ERP software implementation becomes a way of life rather than a project with a finite ending point, organization leaders, especially CFO and CIO, need to identify implementation best practice to increase their chances of success. This will describe some important best practice of ERP system implementation. You can find much more the theory in the Internet.

But before going through it, here are common challenges of ERP implementation, based on Panorama Consulting survey:

Take longer than expected Cost more than expected which more than 50% ERP system implementation go over budget Business benefits are low

So, we can say that our ERP system implementation is success if it finishes on time, on budget and get significant business benefit. But I warn you this is not easy to achieve the goal because the project involves many people both from external and employees in some levels.

ERP implementation best practices

You can follow the following best practice to ensure your ERP system implementation success. 1. Understand the target benefit of ERP implementation o Clearly understand what are you trying to accomplish with ERP system o Have a well-defined purposes and goals o Take time to validate the software vendors understanding of business requirements and their project plan o Communicate to stakeholders and employees 2. Take time to plan up front o Make sure you do it right, dont just jump into a project o Budget time to thoroughly test new business process, security role, customization, and so on. 3. Focus on business process and requirements

Understand how your business operates Define and prioritize key business requirement. Dont overemphasize softwares technical capabilities if they are not aligned with your needs. Focus on achieving good ROI Business benefit should be as tangible as the defined solution costs Establish key performance measure and set target Track post-implementation performance Gain commitment from company executives The project needs an executive champion. It is not an IT project. Executive management should endorse the ERP system implementation project Executive management should remain actively involved throughout the implementation Support from top-management will minimize conflict with business needs Establish regular project reviews with executive team and/or steering committee Project Management ERP software implementation responsibilities should be shared between the information technology department and functional areas where the software is being implemented The project team composition should represent all functional areas where the software will be implemented Leverage experienced resources Project team members normal job responsibilities should be reassigned to other employees for the project duration A project manager should be assigned full-time to the implementation Develop strong project control Run a conference room pilot to simulate the running of your business, before you go live. This needs the creation of a test script, which deals

with all the routine and abnormal things that you need the computer system to handle. The running of the script must involve the stakeholders. Employees should receive training on how to work as a team on project before ERP system implementation begins. Educate the people not just how to use the software but also in best practice techniques, so that they understand the implications of their actions A separate, dedicated work environment specifically created for the project team aids implementation efforts. Implement a risk management and mitigation plan Conduct ongoing phase reviews throughout implementation Data Migration Define the data scope up front, including for master and transactional data Its never too early to begin scrubbing and mapping data GIGO (Garbage In = Garbage Out) Data should be thoroughly tested during conference room pilot and testing