Three key phases for a successful ERP projects

ERP projects have never been easy, but they are becoming more complicated as the market for offerings matures. Increasingly, companies are tackling a blend of on-premises and cloud environments and the expectations of customers about what an ERP project should cover are only getting more extensive.

So how to go about choosing a vendor? Ultimately, that choice depends heavily on the range and depth of the requirements that a company draws for its ERP. The range can speak to the extensibility of a solution platform, while the depth represents the ability of the ERP project to satisfy industry-specific or unique requirements.

The right partner is also critical for making or breaking an implementation. It can also shorten a sponsor’s tenure at an organization.

An ERP project typically falls into three distinct phases:

The launching of the project requires the collection of requirements: A firm needs to build some understanding of the ERP marketplace and assess organizational and project readiness for ERP selection. It can be useful to align the organization’s use-case fit with market use cases. Project managers should collect, prioritize and document any ERP needs before creating the ERP RFP.

The actual selection of the ERP solution will involve a review of the market leaders, plus the players aligned with the use case. The project team should review vendor profiles and short-listed vendors based upon organization fit. Following that, the buyer can submit its RFP to short listed vendors, evaluate vendor responses and develop vendor demonstration scripts. Vendors should be scored prior to the selection of the final product.

The third phase involves the actual implementation, and that will require an ERP road map and resourcing plan, plus the re-engineering of ERP processes and the writing of design system workflows. It can be useful to develop an integration map and user roles. Project teams should create a comprehensive communication and change management plan and establish an ERP governance structure along with roles and responsibilities. It is also important to determine project and performance metrics to measure and track success.

Key Takeaways:

  • ERP implementation can frequently represent large and challenging projects for IT teams.
  • Plenty of forward planning can be an asset for IT teams and business units going into the selection or early implementation of an ERP project.
  • It is worth investing some time and money into understanding the current ERP market, including product-centric and use-centric ERP use-case scenarios.