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Preparing for the ERP implementation: Planning for ERP project success

If you have decided on a new ERP solution for your business and are about to embark on the implementation phase, you need to be sure that the planning is in place for a successful project.

Here are Datel’s suggestions for the RIGHT way to plan for project success:

We have produced a comprehensive ERP Buying Toolkit that includes information on the best way to build a business case, and prepare for an ERP evaluation process and ERP implementation. For more information or to download the guide, complete the form below.

R - Refer back to the business case
What are the goals? What are the expected benefits? What will success look like? How will it become clear that the project is complete?

I - Inspire the team
Project leaders must engage the team and ensure communications are clear, celebrate project milestones and keep them focused on the ultimate goal: create a more competitive, successful and sustainable business in which to work.

G - Generate a coherent and flexible plan
Set out the deliverables for the project with (realistic) timescales, and ensure the right resources are allocated. Be prepared for and manage the impact of slippage. Carry out ‘what-if’ planning. It is not just the technology provider who is working to set timescale;: if a key member of the in-house project team is ill, what will be the knock-on effect further down the line in meeting deadlines? Are there any pending major business changes likely to set the project back?

H - Handle risk
All IT projects involve a measure of risk; the trick is to continually identify, evaluate and manage risk to avoid or at least mitigate the impact on project quality, costs and timescales. Unfortunately, scope creep and direction drift are the bane of many projects. As departments start to fully realise the potential of the new solution, they often conceive new ideas for how it could make their lives easier. The project manager must keep progress on track and manage conflicting needs, recognising the risks of trying to be all things to all people. The answer to requests may be an outright no, or possibly adding an incremental suggestion to a wish-list for a second phase of development.

T - Test thoroughly before project sign-off
As mentioned in point 1, it is important to pinpoint the moment at which the project moves from development to business as usual. To avoid a long list of post-implementation ‘snaggings’– and arguments about who pays to rectify them – the project team will need to demonstrate to the provider that the new solution has been rigorously tested and that it is fit for purpose.