Steps to ERP Implementation :: Part III

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In the previous post, we discussed about vendor evaluation and selection criteria. Let us now discuss briefly about the project planning for ERP implementation.

Step III – Project Planning

Once the vendor is evaluated and selected, the next step would be to come up with a project plan with timelines. Before working out the project plan, it is essential to decide if the implementation will be carried out in phases. This depends on the total number of business processes involved. If there are many interconnected business processes, then the core implementation team should plan accordingly to proceed in phases without interrupting the dependencies.

The first step to project planning is to set clear goals for the whole project. Measurement tools and processes should be in place to gauge the success rate of implementation. ‘Divide and conquer’ approach will ensure success of individual project phases provided clear objectives are set for different phases.

The project implementation team should decide the roles and responsibilities for individuals and provide adequate funding to meet the day-to-day expenses. Key members from across the organization should be involved in the project to ensure all required functionalities and features are in place.

The total cost of ownership (TCO) should be clearly defined taking into consideration all the overheads and a buffer amount. This would be the total budget for the project until completion. It is best to discuss with the consultants to arrive at the TCO and allocating a percentage margin on the estimated amount will help meet surprise overheads.

It is necessary that the requirements are clear right from the beginning. Usually, in the middle of the project, people might want to include additional features and functionalities as per market trends. Evaluating these needs and anticipating the future requirements to an extent, will make a positive difference.

Training the employees is very essential to ensure success of ERP implementation. So, adequate time should be allocated for training needs.

A detailed requirements analysis, clear deadlines, well identified roles & responsibilities and adequate funding will increase the success rate of the ERP implementation project.