- 10 August 2016
Whatever your industry, from medical manufacturing to high tech and electronics, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system can streamline your workflow, facilitate better communication across departments and production centers, keep your company flexible and adaptable, and much more.
To reap all the benefits of ERP, it’s important to understand the ERP project lifecycle. By understanding and following this process, you will be in a better position to get your ERP system running on time and within budget. In addition, you will be able to ensure you have the right skillsets each step of the way.
Understanding the ERP Project Lifecycle
While ERP vendors frame the project lifecycle differently, they all include these phases, even if they are named differently:
- Design and Build
Each step has particular tools, techniques, and deliverables to seamlessly take the project from one stage to next. Implementing an ERP system is a complex project, but ultimately, following the project lifecycle keeps it on track and ensures a high-quality ERP system, free of bugs and well-suited to your company’s needs.
In the first stage, your company maps its expectations and needs for an ERP product. This includes considerations such as:
- Software functionality
- Implementation perspectives and cost
- Project schedule
- Post-launch support
By considering each of these factors, you will be able to find the appropriate ERP product for your company.
This is where you take the requirements set out in the prepare stage and figure out the nitty-gritty of how you’re going to make it happen. With your project manager, you’ll finalize your project goals, objectives, and scope, putting it all into a project management plan. This plan outlines each team member’s responsibilities and sets clear timelines.
By taking the time to put in place a clear plan, you will minimize risk by being able to identify any snags that might exist, and crafting specific checkpoints to address any issues that come up throughout the implementation.
Design and Build
With the project plan in hand, the designing begins. At CTND, while we’re designing the product, we teach your team the basics through one-on-one meetings and on-site training. During the configuration, your team members document the user procedures themselves, ensuring that they understand the software and that the appropriate configurations are made to best fit your organization.
In the final step of this phase, we validate your newly-converted data for accuracy and test it to make sure it meets your goals.
After double-checking every business procedure is properly documented, specific test scripts are deployed to ensure that the system is properly configured. This is where any bugs or issues that couldn’t be tested in earlier phases are found and addressed.
After the validation stage is through and everything is working, it’s the last and most exciting phase: deployment.
For peace of mind, a detailed launch plan minimizes any issues that come up following the launch, and users are prepared for everything needed to launch successfully and troubleshoot any hiccups.
Then it’s time to launch!
That’s not the end of the ERP project lifecycle, however. Over time, as you continue to use the ERP software, you may find your company’s needs change. Customizations to the ERP system could lead you right back to the planning stage to tweak and adjust your ERP system.
Implementing with AGILE
Not all ERP project lifecycles are created equal. CTND does ERP implementation differently than many other companies. We use an AGILE Implementation Methodology (AIM). In this methodology, an initial prototype is refined iteratively until it can be used. This approach has a number of benefits. It:
- Exposes issues, gaps, and inconsistencies with the whole implementation team
- Ensures users of the system have more exposure to it, enabling them to learn more throughout the implementation process
- Has a higher probability of leading to a high-quality system that works for you
If you are looking for an ERP system that works for you and your company’s needs, our AGILE approach is cost-effective and efficient. Get in touch.