I’ve seen a steady increase in ERP selection, implementation and utilization projects as executives want to fully leverage the tools available to drive business results. However, a new system can be a significant undertaking. Only those who prepare will succeed.
- Document business processes – Start by documenting what occurs on a day-to-day basis. One of the top failure points is to assume that people can make the leap from current processes to “best practices” according to the new system on day 1 with no roadmap.
- Review/ revise with cross-functional teams – It’s amazing what can be learned as you review documented business processes with cross-functional teams. Different perceptions likely exist. It helps to start with clarity.
- Identify critical requirements – I’ve seen countless hours wasted on typical business requirements (which all systems generally cover); instead, focus 80% of your attention on the requirements unique to your business, industry, company etc. Think about your strategic advantage.
- Communicate early & frequently – You cannot over-communicate when preparing for a new system. I’ve found that most people will not raise their hand until you’ve gained their trust. How will you know the key requirements if you aren’t frequently communicating? Ask questions.
- Dedicate resources early – It’s rare that a company addresses resources early enough to support a smooth and successful plan and transition of the day-to-day workload, system preparation workload (data cleanup alone can be a HUGE project), implementation workload etc. yet it is essential to success.