If you implement a new business system in your organization, you have a lot of impact on the success of the project. Do you want the implementation to be completed on time, within budget and within scope? With these 6 tips, your chance on success is a lot bigger!
1. Communicate with the organization
Internal communication is crucial in an ERP implementation. From the selection process until the go-live. This does not mean that all employees need to know all the ins and outs of the project, but it does mean that the most important decisions and milestones achieved should be communicated. By doing that you grow the support, involvement and enthusiasm within the company. Employees understand why a new system is selected, see the benefits for them personally and are aware of the progress in the implementation. Communication can be done by emails or newsletters, during company events or by simply continuously sharing information on the work floor.
2. Assemble your dream team
The ideal project team works like a well-oiled machine. But how do you put together your 'dream team'? A few characteristics of and conditions to the team members:
- They are enthusiastic and motivated
- They see the benefits of the new software and know how to convince the rest of the organization of the added value
- They can analyze and understand processes, looking beyond their own department
- They have time in their agenda to spend on the implementation
- They have the mandate to take decisions regarding the processes and the system
- They all work well together
3. Prepare well
Just starting an ERP implementation and seeing what comes your way is a bad idea for several reasons. There is a good chance that things will go wrong, that the budget will be exceeded, that frustration will arise, and above all that the end result will be disappointing. Good preparation includes collecting the requirements and wishes of the organization, a thorough selection of the right system from the right partner, data cleansing and in various business systems, defining the scope, create a planning and assemble the team. When you're ready, you may still run into unexpected problems, but you have taken care of the things you could foresee.
"We are live, time to sit back, right? Certainly not! The go-live is just the beginning."
4. Stay in control of the implementation
As the management of the organization you have to be continuously 'in control' about what happens in the project. Who does what? How's the progress going? Is the collaboration going well? Are we achieving the milestones according our schedule? That requires regular meetings with your project team and the team of the ERP partner. And dare to take important decisions. For example to replace a member of the project team, to change the scope of the project or to make a decision regarding a business process.
5. Celebrate the successful go-live!
You should celebrate successes. Together. Going live with a new business system is something you all strive for for months and something you can be proud of. Give appreciation and recognition to the people who contributed to the go-live. You have spent energy on the difficult obstacles and challenges that you have encountered during the implementation, so also spend energy on achieving important milestones and especially the go-live.
6. Continue to improve after the go-live
We are live, time to sit back, right? Certainly not! The go-live is just the beginning. Now that you are actually working with the new system, you will immediately encounter a number of issues that were not noticed during the development, training and testing. You want to solve those as quickly as possible. And you probably already have plans for the next phases, such as extra modules and solutions that were not necessary for the go-live, but that will provide you with a lot of benefits.
Realize that you have a lot of impact on the success of an ERP implementation. There are factors that are out of your control, but many factors are under your control. Make it a success!