Long View is currently undergoing a massive systems integration project (aka ERP project). We are taking excel spreadsheets, outdated systems, and un-integrated tools and are integrating them into one Microsoft based-solution (CRM, PSA, HRM, NAV, Scribe). This type of program has many moving parts that require careful management to ensure success. As we approach our go-live dates, here are our personal tips and tricks for any of you implementing ERP projects in your organization:
1. Streams. Set them up and set them up early. Suggestions on ERP functional streams to consider: Design, Infrastructure, Security, Licensing, Workflows, Reports/Dashboards, Business Processes, Data Migration, Training, Go Live and Deployment Planning, Decommissioning.
2. Project management and stream leader. Assign a PM and a business leader to every stream. This ensures every stream has the requisite focus to ensure tasks are identified, resources are managed effectively and business decisions are made promptly.
3. Daily scrum huddles. Facilitate a daily 15-minute huddle to review each person’s priorities, discuss any roadblocks for the day. Do this daily so you aren’t waiting for a weekly status update to find out progress was not made throughout the week.
4. Testing. Set up several test phases – don’t wait till the end to test the entire solution all at once. Start with technical testing; perform individual component tests, configuration tests, data migration tests, integration tests, functional/business process tests, and user acceptance tests (UAT). This tiered testing approach identifies issues early instead of waiting for a full system solution. It also gets the end users excited about the new systems coming their way which is a method of organizational change management (get those business champions in early to see what the system is all about and spread the word).
5. Business analysts. An ERP implementation is all about business processes. Needs analysis, requirements gathering, business stakeholder interviews, organizational change management are critical to the success of your project. Engage your business analysts early in the process and keep them till the end to deliver the business/end user training!
6. Finance is usually covered but don’t forget the operations rep. Often times an ERP project has many Finance representatives on the leadership team. While Finance is likely the final recipient of data entered into the systems, operations and service delivery need to be on the leadership team to ensure decisions are made not only in the best interest of Finance but also in the best interest of the operations side of the business.
These are just a few of our learnings on this project thus far. More to come once we go live!