A roadmap for ERP implementation success – everybody wants one. While it’s not possible to completely rid yourself of the headaches associated with new technology and process improvement initiatives, educating yourself on key action items during every implementation phase helps mitigate risk and streamline your investment.
As we hinted at in our last blog, it’s up to you to compile the right sources of information and gather data to help your organization meet implementation milestones on deadline and on budget.
Read our second set of success tips below, which address the data and human factors involved in every ERP implementation.
Focus on data migration.
New ERP systems streamline not only business processes, but also data collection and utilization. Migrating old data over to the new system is extremely important for future functionality. Data migration from an old system to a new one is also an opportunity to clean up data and improve quality. A lot of planning goes into deciding which data to migrate and which to toss. Data migration requires its own project management plan for the identification, collection, verification, massaging, movement and maintenance of data as it’s migrated to the new system.
Taking on data migration early reduces risk and operational expenses. Leaving data migration to the last minute may mean losing valuable information in the transition – an unthinkable outcome for most businesses. As in the overall ERP implementation project plan, identify the necessary action items behind data migration, assign responsibility and manage change accordingly.
Address user adoption.
The human factor is what makes any ERP system valuable and widely successful. Organizations invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into implementing an ERP solution with the hope of solving business needs – often without paying attention to the users entrenched in carrying out these needs day to day. The secret to any successful ERP implementation is embracing people’s potential by involving them in the design and configuration process. One way to help gather support is to ensure the chosen software stands as a solution to perceived problems and pains.
Empower employees during the implementation process. Holding people accountable for project milestones and helping employees feel personally invested in the project improves adoption rates. If and when project buy-in becomes a problem, address resistance issues sooner rather than later. While you may not be able to completely eliminate risk or resistance, you can promote readiness and assess challenges felt by personnel through effective communication.
The dynamics above have one thing in common: They need to be addressed before implementation efforts begin. Setting a strong foundation for the work ahead is critical for success.
Once the groundwork is laid, it’s time to choose a partner that’s able to provide an industry-specific methodology. The next best thing to learning from organizations that have faced similar challenges in the past is finding an implementation partner capable of providing specific, strategic direction.