Steps to ERP Implementation :: Part I

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In one of our previous blog posts, we discussed briefly about the ERP Implementation life cycle. From this post onwards, let us discuss about individual steps in detail.

Step I :: Identifying business challenges

To decide on ERP functionalities that will suit your company, the first step is to identify your business challenges. This can also be termed as requirement analysis. Apart from senior management team and managers from different departments, it is important to involve key staff with good experience and expertise in specific departments.

As the first step, formulate a template that can bring out detailed inputs from all the staff involved in the process. This template should be capable of drilling into the “what, why, where and how” of various business process and intricate functionalities involved.

Once the template is ready, the project team can use multiple methods to gather information from all the employees involved. One of the popular methodologies widely used across businesses is brainstorming. Brainstorming is so effective that it will bring out all the issues that employees are facing. It should be done in different phases involving one or two departments at once. One person from the team should carefully record all the minutes, so that relevant informationcan be extracted at a later point of time.

Another method is to use employee questionnaire. In this, the Project team prepares a detailed questionnaire of inquisitive nature. Select team members from every department are requested to answer the questions. This procedure should be carried out independently for different departments. Later on, the answers can be collated and relevant information can be extracted.

Employee survey is another method but it is not that accurate as the previous methods. In this method, all employees are involved and their inputs for specific set of questions are considered for evaluation. This is time consuming and the less accurate when compared to questionnaire and brainstorming.

After getting relevant inputs from employees by using any of the aforementioned methods, it is important for the Project team to analyze the data and conclude on required functionalities. The complete process takes anywhere between 2 weeks to 3 months depending on the number of departments involved and the functionalities required.