Key Questions For Your ERP Implementation Project

Moving a digital transformation project to successful completion requires the execution of many activities, some of which are complex with long scheduling windows and durations. With so much to do, it’s no surprise that project teams often want to get working on tasks as quickly as possible. But there are also important details project participants need to have to ensure they’re moving in the right direction and focusing resources efficiently.

Before you begin your ERP implementation project, make sure your team nails down the answers to these key questions:

Who are your project champions? Given the potential for disruption, project teams may struggle to find representatives from each functional area willing to act as ERP implementation champions. Few employees are familiar with the technology’s capabilities at a deep level, and even fewer will understand how to translate the project’s benefits into the day-to-day reality of using the system. It’s important to identify individuals with the necessary enthusiasm and communication skills to champion an ERP project long before the implementation phase begins. These people will be instrumental in helping to connect users with information and resources such as training opportunities.

When will contract negotiations for the project be complete? Working through contract terms for an ERP implementation can be a long and detailed process. Your team may be well into the planning phase—and possibly close to having the scope, budget estimates, timeline, and resource allocations complete—by the time contract reviews are done and everything signed. But you may not want to move ahead without formal documents to prevent the business from spending money and time on activities that could change if the contract terms change. Identify a realistic date for the completion of negotiations so you can monitor progress against your target timeline.

Will this be a phased or an all-in rollout? An ERP implementation is typically a very large and complex project. Given its massive scope, you don’t want to aim for an all-encompassing rollout only to have to haphazardly scale back to a phased approach because you don’t have the right elements in place. Determine early in the planning process exactly what type of rollout is optimal for your use case and then diligently scope your resources to support your chosen strategy.

What other adjacent technology components or solutions are on the horizon? You likely have many existing systems and infrastructure components to assess as part of the ERP implementation, but it’s critical that you also look ahead to ensure your new platform will perform well as your technology stack evolves. You first need to gain consensus on whether the implementation will use on-premises or cloud infrastructure, or a mix of both. Consider also where tools such as automation may be added later, as well as how a company expansion might stress your new ERP solution. Taking a long view sometimes adds upfront costs to include connection points that aren’t yet needed or gain access to APIs that will sit idle in the near term, but this future-looking approach can save your company money in the long run.

Is your change management strategy ready to launch? Unlike some other types of projects, where users’ need for change management support doesn’t begin until later in the initiative’s lifecycle, ERP implementations often benefit from a change management strategy that starts delivering value from the earliest stages. Don’t wait until your planning phase is complete to start thinking about how your team will handle the change management side of things. Discuss your strategy options early and have a plan ready to implement long before you think you need it.

PMAlliance, Inc offers project management consultingprojectmanagement training and project portfolio management services.

Discuss Your Project, Portfolio & Training Needs