ERP Implementation Phases

When conducting your ERP implementation process, it’s important that you stick to a rigid implementation timeline so that your day-to-day business processes are impacted as little as possible. To that end, the biggest part of your implementation plan should be identifying and cementing your ERP implementation phases to a highly specific degree.

Because, if implemented correctly, your new ERP system could drastically boost your business’ performance. Which makes it no wonder that 88% of organizations say their ERP helped them succeed.

So, if you were to ask any ERP subject matter expertsWhat are the different phases of an ERP implementation life cycle and what do I need to know?” the following implementation phases for ERP that you’re about to read would be their answer.

1. Define

Naturally, the first step in any ERP implementation methodology must concern itself with defining your project’s goals

As the first of your ERP implementation steps, the define phase will predominantly focus on doing your research, choosing an ERP system that meets your business’ needs, setting up a project management team and detailing all system requirements.

The project management team you choose must be experienced and knowledgeable because they will be responsible for a wide range of roles regarding your ERP project’s implementation.

These project teams generally consist of members in the following roles:

  • Executive sponsor
  • Project manager
  • Department heads
  • Senior management

The inclusion of senior management is essential for ensuring your ERP project receives the resources it requires and gets the support necessary to implement changes across the organization.

Your team may also want to enlist the services of an external consultant or ERP partner who can lend their expertise when it comes to designing and configuring the system. Including a member of your IT department in your implementation team would also be a good idea.

To start with, one of your implementations team’s first tasks will be to create a highly specific list of current issues facing your implementation plan and business such as:

  • Process inefficiencies
  • Necessary requirements for the new ERP system
  • A need for faster financial closings
  • Improved line-of-sight into company operations
  • Having to prepare an IPO

Defining all functional areas of concern regarding both your business and your ERP implementation project is key to having a smooth ERP implementation process.

Once these steps are complete, your team will be at the end of the define phase and will be ready to select an ERP system, which generally falls under one of two categories:

  1. On-Premise ERP Systems
    These are systems that are usually purchased as hardware or software and installed in a data center.
  2. Cloud-Based ERP Systems
    These types of systems generally operate as subscription-based services, which can be quicker to implement and require less in-house IT support staff.

 

2. Design

Taking the detailed requirement from the previous phase, the design phase will see your project team creating new workflows that will act as more efficient replacements for their current iterations under the new ERP system.

Here your team can use gap analysis and unit testing to spot areas of potential weakness that they can then resolve by adjusting the ERP system’s configuration.

 

Interested in Learning More About How the Right ERP Can Impact Your Business? Read These Articles.

 

3. Configure/Validate

Here in the configure/validate phase your implementation team will be configuring and adjusting the ERP software to support the newly created processes from the previous step.

It’s in this ERP implementation phase you can create user training materials and plan data migration. When conducting your data migration planning, be sure to avoid migrating duplicate or blank historical data automatically generated by your old systems. This data is superfluous in the extreme and will only slow down the entire process.

The validate phase can be applied in tandem with the configure phase, as the two ERP implementation phases will inform one another based on their findings. It’s at this point user acceptance testing is done so that your ERP vendor can smooth the human element of the transition.

implementation phases erp

4. Go Live

This ERP implementation phase is the big one. During the go live phase, your entire implementation team will be rolling out the new ERP system for use across your entire organization. 

Once live, definitely prepare yourself for potential issues that crop up as new users begin using the system en masse. Your ERP implementation consultant and partner will be essential here as they’ll be able to facilitate troubleshooting and help your employees get used to the new system.

 

5. Ongoing Support & Updates

After your new ERP system is live, the job going forward will be listening to your team’ s feedback as they continue to use it,  identify areas for improvement or uncover consistent errors or difficulties.

It’s to be expected that some additional reconfiguration will be required in the early days. But, overall, once your ERP system is up and running, you can expect faster, smoother business operations that will enable you to scale, retain customers and keep your business processes optimally efficient. 

sap erp implementation phases

 

Choosing an ERP Consultant

Regardless of what type of ERP system you’re implementing, your project’s plan can be fraught with roadblocks and difficulties if you don’t have experts on your side who can solve problems rapidly.

Whether you need to be aware of JD Edwards, IFS or SAP ERP implementation phases, having the right ERP consultant can save you both time and money.

If your business needs to implement a new ERP system soon, talk to Corning Data today to see how we can make the process a smooth and convenient experience.

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