Given the extent to which an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system impacts your business, the importance of setting realistic goals for the implementation process cannot be overstated. Taking the time to create a detailed game plan is key to ensuring that your goals are achieved.
Define the Implementation Objectives
An ERP should be implemented to enhance your business functions – not create new ones. Having a clear understanding of your specific objectives will not only allow you to select the correct business intelligence platform to meet those objectives but also streamline the implementation process.
Your objectives should include:
- Type and frequency of reporting, data needed for reporting, and dashboard setup
- What data will need to be centralized, and where is it currently stored?
- What inefficiencies exist in your current financial reporting, and how with the ERP streamline that process?
In addition, understanding the timeline needed to meet these objectives is another key consideration in setting realistic goals.
Setting Project Scope
Once the objectives are defined, the next step is to outline the project scope needed to achieve them. This is where specific action items are defined. A detailed project scope allows for clear communication and alignment among team members and sets clear expectations for project deliverables.
The project scope for an ERP implementation should include:
- Core business functions to be impacted, and the specific changes to these functions and outcomes to resulting from these changes
- The scope of data to be migrated, business functions affected, and the anticipated timeline for accessing that data in its current form and integration into the new system.
- What external systems are being impacted and how will they be integrated with the new ERP, and what if any customizations will be needed and how will they be implemented.
- For each business function, which specific roles will be impacted, the onboarding and training that will be needed, and the timeline to complete.
Failing to plan your project in this level of detail creates a lack of clarity and enables scope creep, which can negatively impact your project timeline, budget, and ability to achieve your overall goals.
Define Implementation Personnel
Once you have a clear understanding of the objectives and project scope, your next step is to define the personnel who will be responsible for the implementation of your ERP system. Most commonly, this is a choice between in-house personnel and working with an implementation partner, such as Innovative Cloud Solutions.
The most common advantages of In-house implementation include a reduction in overall project costs and a familiarity with current business functions as they relate to the overall goals. The downside of in-house implementation includes:
- The learning curve on the ERP in terms of configuration, customization, data migration, and user training
- The amount of time needed away from core business functions to achieve all implementation objectives.
- Lack of knowledge of business solutions software to efficiently address technical issues when they arise.
Conversely, while working with an implementation partner will add to the project budget, the overall benefits of this option make it worthy of careful consideration.
The initial benefit of working with an implementation partner is that they can guide you in selecting the right business solutions software for your needs, based on your goals and objectives. Once a platform is selected, they will work with you to create a project scope that meets those requirements and keeps all involved parties on track. Finally, their technical expertise allows them to efficiently complete all aspects of the implementation, training of personnel, and troubleshooting of technical issues.
At Innovative Cloud Systems, we have decades of technical experience in helping businesses select and implement the ideal ERP system. To learn more about how you can partner with ICS, Click here to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.