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Chapter-7

ERP Implementation Lifecycle

ERP Pre and Post Implementation


Feasibility Study Implementation Setup Organization wide Deployment Maintenance

ERP Implementation
ERP implementation lifecycle focus on the ERP project which is carried out to make ERP up and running. ERP project is likely to go through different phases like any other project. Most often these phases do not necessarily depend on one another in a sequence, i.e. one phase might start before previous phase has finished.

ERP Implementation
Also all phases that will be discussed may not be applicable in all cases. The different phases of ERP implementation are: Pre-evaluation Screening Package Evaluation Project Planning Phase Gap-Analysis Reengineering Configuration

Different Phase of ERP implementation are-

Pre-Evaluation Screening Package Evaluation Project Planning Phase Gap Analysis Reengineering Configuration Implementation Team Training Testing End-User Training Going Live Post Implementation Phase

Company Management

Go ahead

Pre-Evaluation Screening

ERP Vendors

Package Evaluation

Project Planning

Gap Analysis

Reengineering

Configuration

Implementation Team Training

Testing

End-User Training

Going Live

Post Implementation Phase

ERP implementation Lifecycle

1.

Pre-Evaluation Screening

Pre-Evaluation Screening is the phase which starts when company decides to go for a ERP System, the search for perfect solution starts. It is very time consuming process to select few where all claims be the best, it is just superficial study of package. Not all packages are same each has its own weakness and strength. While making the analysis it is good to investigate the origins of the different packages. Some packages can be good in some areas while in other sectors they may not. Once few packages are screened detailed evaluation process starts.

Package Evaluation process is one of the most imp phase of the ERP implementation , because the package you select will decide failure or success of project. There is little room for error in this as ERP packages are so expensive once purchased can not switch to another. While making the analysis the imp point is nothing is perfect , imp here is whether it is a perfect fit or good fit. It is impossible to get a system which will perform exactly as the company does business but aim is to get least no of differences.

2.

Package Evaluation

3.

Project Planning Phase

This is the phase which plans that designs the implementation process. In this phase details of how to go about implementation , schedules and deadlines etc are decided. Roles and responsibilities are identified and assigned. This is phase which will decide when to begin, how to do it and when the project is supposed to be completed and what to do in contingencies. Their is a committee for this and which is suppose to meet periodically through out cycle to review process and chart future course of action .

PROJECT PLANNING PHASE

Project schedule DESIGN IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS TIME SCHEDULES, DEADLINES, ETC RESOURCES ARE NEEDED AND IMPLEMENTATION IDENTIFIED

Decision of phase

CONTINGENCIES, MONITOR THE PROGRAM, CONTROL MEASURES , CORRECTIVE ACTIONS

Team leader
PLANNING IS DONE BY TEAM LEADERS COMMITTEE WILL BE HEADED BY INCHARGE

Gap Analysis
This is the most crucial phase for the success of the ERP implementation. Simply it is the process through which companies create a complete model of where they are now, and in which direction they want to head in the future. The trick is to design a model which both anticipates and covers any functional gaps.

Main objective
The main objective is to design a model, which both anticipates & covers any function gap. It has been estimated that even the best ERP package meets only 80% of the companys functional gaps.

Different ways of finding gaps


a. One of the most affordable, but most difficult, solutions entails altering the business to fit the ERP package. b. Another solution is that the company can simply agree to live without a particular function. c. Other solutions include:
Pinning your hopes on an upgrade or updating of software. Identifying a third-party product that might fill the gap. Designing a custom program. Altering the ERP source code.

GAP ANALYSIS

Importance FIND OUT THE GAPS BETWEEN BUSINESS AND ERP PACKAGE COMPANY CREATES A MODEL

Main objective

Different ways of finding ALTERING THE BUSINESS TO FIT THE PACKAGE LIVE W/O A FUNCTION UPDATING SOFTWARE IDENTIFYING A PRODUCT DESIGNING A PROGRAM ALTERING SOURCE CODE

DESIGN A MODEL COVERS ANY FUNCTIONAL GAP

5.

RE-ENGINEERING:

1. It is in this phase that the human factors are taken into account. 2. Two different connotations 3. 1st one is the controversial, involving the use of ERP to aid in downsizing efforts. 4. There have been occasions where high level executives have invoked the reengineering slogan & purchased an ERP package with the aim of reducing number of employees. 5. While every implementation is going to involve some change in job responsibilities, so it is the best to treat ERP as an investment as well as cost-cutting measure, rather than a downsizing tool. 6. Downsizing is a business practice that may have its place, but it should not be cloaked within the glossier slogan of reengineering. 7. The 2nd use of the word re-engineering in the ERP field refers to an ERP implementation model initially designed & used.

RE-ENGINEERING

Human factor taken into account

Downsizing effort

bPR APPROACH

6.

CONFIGURATION
IMPORTANCE OF CONFIGURATION

This is the main functional area of the ERP implementation. Business processes have to be understood & mapped in such a way that the arrived solution matches with the overall goals of the company.
THE PROTOTYPE

a. A prototype- a simulation of the actual business processes of the company- will be used. b. The prototype allows for thorough testing of the to be model in a controlled environment.

c.

As the ERP consultants configure & test the prototype they attempt to solve any logistical problems inherited in the BPR before the actual golive implementation.
STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES

a. Configuring a companys system reveals not only the strengths of a companys business process but also- & perhaps more importantly- its weakness. b. It is vital to the health of the company & to the success of the ERP implementation that those configuring the system are able to explain what wont fit into the package & where the gaps in functionality occur.

CONFIGURATION

Main functional area

Solution match with goals

Prototype-allows for thorough testing

Attempt to solve logistical problem

Configuring reveals strengths & weaknesses

Important for success of ERP implementation

7.

IMPLEMENTATION TEAM TRAINING

When the configuration is taking place the implementation team is being trained not how to use the system, but how to implement it. This is the phase where the company trains its employees to implement & later run the system. The ERP vendors & the hired consultants will leave after the implementation is over. Good in-house team For the company to be self sufficient in running the ERP system, it should have a good in-house team that can handle the various situations. Thus, it is very vital that the company recognizes the importance of this phase & selects those employees who have the right attitude- people who are willing to change, learn new things & are not afraid of technology- & good functional knowledge.

8.

TESTING:

This is the phase where you try to break the system. Here we reach a point where we are testing real case scenarios. The system is configured & now we must come up with extreme case scenarios- system overloads, multiple users logging on at the same time with the same query, users entering invalid data, hackers trying to access restricted areas & so on. The test case must be designed specifically to find the weak links in the system & these bugs should be fixed before going live.

9.

GOING LIVE

On the technical side, the work is almost completedata conversions is done, databases are up & running, & on the functional side, the prototype is fully configured & tested & ready to go operational. The system is officially proclaimed operational, even though the implementation team must have been testing it & running successfully for some time. But once the system is live, the old system is removed & the new system is used for doing business.

10. END USER TRAINING:


Success & failure
The success or failure of an ERP system depends on how the actual users use the system. The most successful implemented ERP packages fail due to lack of end user training.

People are divided into groups


ERP system changes the job descriptions of the people, so it is important to identify the people who are going to use the system. The current skills of the people are identified & they are divided into groups. Every group is provided training on the new system.

Training sections
The training section gives the overall view of the system & how the individual actions will be affecting the entire system.

Every employee is also provided with the training of the job profile which he is going to perform. The training section should address about the new technologies & how people will be successful in making the change over. Atleast the end user training is important because the success of an ERP system depends upon it & this phase is equally difficult.

END USER TRAINING

Success or failure

Lack of training

Change job description

Groups all formed & training provided

Training gives over all view of system

Employee provided training

Address new technologies

Important & equally difficult

POST IMPLEMENTATION (MAINTENANCE MODE):


Important factors
One important factor that should be kept in mind is that the post implementation phase is very critical. Once the implementation is over the vendors & the hired consultants will go. There should be people within the company who have the technical processes to make the necessary enhancements to the system as & when required. The system must be upgraded as & when new versions or technologies are introduced. Everyone who uses these systems needs to be trained on how they work, how they relate to the business process & how a transaction ripples through the entire company whenever they press a key. The training will never end; it is an ongoing process; new people will always be coming in & new functionality will always be entering the organization. Living with ERP system will be totally different from installing them. However, an organization can only get the maximum value of these inputs if it successfully adopts & effectively uses the system.

Necessary enhancements & upgrades

Training is needed

Maximum value for these input

POST IMPLEMENTATION

Most important & critical factor

Vendors & consultants will go

Necessary enhancements & upgrades are made

Training is needed for those who use the system

Training is an ongoing process

Maximum value for this input

IMPLEMENTATION TEAM TRAINING

Team is being trained for implementation of system

Run the system

Vendors & consultants leave after implementation is over

Good in-house team for handling various solutions

Select employees who have: RIGHT ATTITUDE WILLING TO CHANGE LEARN NEW THINGS AND NOT AFRAID OF TECHNOLOGY