Ask people to describe why their ERP implementations are successful and you’ll get as many different answers as the number of people you asked. But in nearly every one, although worded in many ways, you’ll find a commonality: good project management. There is a huge body of project management knowledge—Amazon.com lists nearly 9000 books on the topic!
With so much material out there, I thought it might be helpful to boil it down and list the major steps of a good project management process for your ERP implementation:
- Assign a project manager—an internal person whose job it is to make this project happen. You need someone on your staff to be the point person, whether you do the whole project internally or hire a consultant.
- Figure out where the company is currently, what the REAL processes are, and what your goals are and put them in writing.
- Set the scope—in writing. Scope creep is one of the biggest issues facing any project. If the plan is to just implement Financials and get that accepted and in use before implementing other modules, don’t let internal pressures force the project out of control by saying, “We really need this integration to our proprietary widget system before we can go live.”
- Create the plan, deadlines, and intermediate deadlines—in writing. This is where all of those project management books are going to come in really handy. You’ll need plans for the project work, for risk, for communication, and for every aspect of the project. Be sure to include intermediate deadlines. Without the deadlines, you won’t know where you are in progressing toward completion.
- Set expectations. Make sure everyone involved, all potential users, and all top-level management knows what is going to happen, when, and what the expected results are.
- Manage scope creep throughout the project. Don’t be bullied.
- Keep the schedule under control. Remind people constantly about what needs to be done by when. Pull out that risk plan if you hit a stumbling block.
- Keep everyone informed on and ongoing basis. If a deadline will be missed, make sure everyone is aware as soon as possible and people know what needs to be done to get the project back on track and who needs to do it. This will not only avoid surprises, it will help people plan other work that may need to be put aside to deliver your project on time.
- Hire a great implementation partner! Notice I said partner—your ERP consultant is your partner in this project. Include your partner’s staff in all of your communications. Choose a partner with lots of experience and situational fluency to deal with challenges that crop up.
- Buy the champagne and plastic champagne glasses in advance. Set the date for your ERP Go-live party and be sure to be ready on the date.
NexVue has delivered hundreds of successful ERP implementations. With over 25 years specializing in ERP, NexVue has the experience and situational fluency to meet the toughest challenges and deliver your ERP project on time.
Acumatica Cloud-based ERP makes success easy. With all modules on a single platform, there is no integration required for the ERP or CRM modules. Acumatica is a complete ERP solution that allows you to tailor your solution to the exact needs of your organization and empower your users to access, create, and receive the information they need to drive business.
For more information about how NexVue can partner with you to deliver a successful ERP solution, call NexVue at 203.327.0800 or email us at [email protected] or simply click here for a Contact Us form.
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