Optimize Your Tech Stack With An ERP Implementation Postmortem

A well-executed ERP implementation project postmortem delivers valuable insights and can uncover all sorts of practical lessons. For example, you may learn how much advance notice specific stakeholder groups expect during a relocation project. Or you might discover that your communication strategy needs to be expanded to include a wider range of functional areas.

Because ERP implementation projects are typically highly visible efforts that affect a broad array of workflows, the postmortem exercise provides visibility into potential bottlenecks and areas of opportunity not just within the project management function but also across the entire organization.

erp implementation postmortem

Where your technology stack is outdated, inefficient, or vulnerable.

Evaluating your existing infrastructure and adjacent systems is a key element in an ERP project, and it ensures you have the appropriate integrations ready to support the implementation. This technology stack assessment can also expose issues such as security gaps, legacy technologies that are draining resources, and systems that haven’t yet been fully utilized. Note those details as part of your postmortem review and make your IT team aware of them so they can address any risks or leverage areas for improvement. Using the postmortem review strategically enables the business to maintain a strong security posture and maximize the use of its network and infrastructure assets.

Where undocumented (or under-documented) business processes exist.

If your team was faced with hastily sketching out the structure or purpose of various long-standing workflows as part of the ERP implementation effort, the project postmortem is an excellent opportunity to identify those and pass your experiences along to the appropriate groups. They can then work to put formal documentation in place and avoid a similar scenario in the next project. Taking the time to close the loop on business process documentation helps to ensure consistency in the way tasks are carried out and enables your company to boost efficiency and achieve better outcomes. Comprehensively documenting business processes and workflows also facilitates a streamlined knowledge transfer when new workers join the organization, or when employees leave and take their tribal knowledge with them.

Where your approval processes are cumbersome or obsolete.

Every company has its preferred methodology for moving requests—for funding, staffing, time, or other resources—through the approval process. Unfortunately, many of those processes were established long ago and very few have been looked at since. As part of your ERP project postmortem, you may realize that your team had to struggle with approval protocols that rely too heavily on manual work, that require unrealistic (or at least excessive) levels of supporting data, or that are simply no longer necessary. This is a good opportunity to collaborate with other functional groups to improve these clunky processes. That could mean digitizing and automating the more laborious elements, streamlining data requirements to match the business case, and eliminating steps that are redundant or don’t serve a purpose in your current operations.

Where you should adjust your implementation partner’s service levels.

Though your ERP implementation may be complete, there are likely to be some post-project activities delivered by one or more of the technology partners that participated in the original effort. By understanding if, where, and why delays or cost overruns occurred during the project, you can work to negotiate new service level agreements to close those gaps and prevent the risk of ongoing problems. Poor initial system performance might also prompt you to seek out new providers with areas of expertise that are better aligned with your needs going forward. Your efforts to improve the health of your technology partner network will pay off as new digital transformation initiatives come through your project pipeline.

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