You have made it this far on your ERP journey. You've got both the C-level executives as well as your subordinates on board with your plan. Everything is going well, but don't forget the minor details that can also cause an impact on the success of your ERP implementation.
Step 7: Put the process to test
There should be a test at every phase of the project to ensure the plan is executed according to plan.
There should also be a step-by-step procedure for testing, act in accordance with this process will allow you to envision what can happen next.
Read more: How modern UX design empowers ERP systems
- Fundamental testing takes place after the initial configuration is completed. All planned transactions are tested for simple transactional validity and are done on an individual basis, with each functional team understanding that all of their transactions need to be successfully tested by a given milestone date.
- Integration testing tests the entire business process, from A to Z. A specific process in the real world takes up ten to sixty sequential transactions to execute, in order for the integration test to successfully run, the test must identify the right fifteen to thirty scripts that represent 90% of the business processes, and keep on improving until they all execute smoothly.
Subsequent rounds of integration tests will involve real-world data to ensure right processes were identified in integration test one, including synchronization of inventory, sales orders, purchase orders and production orders, and replicating one hundred percent of the activity of a business for a given time period.
During this round of testing, master data must be well developed, because the ability to enter real orders with real customers means that master data is available to feed the process.
By introducing some end users into the testing process, it allows us to:
- (1) Actually try out if the process works smoothly in real life or not;
- And (2) train the staff to get used to the new system, and these initial test users will then transfer their knowledge to others.
End users’ contributions go beyond just participating in a test. During the evaluation process, as they already know their function inside and out, they will be able to provide valuable feedback and insights that those of us are too blind to see.
Step 8: Keep expenses under control
To be frank, your actual spending on an ERP project would eventually crank up much higher than what you originally planned for.
At least at this stage, it is expected that you have a detailed budgeting plan drafted, and you would audit the budget on a regular basis. It is also worth noted that the budget should cover from the moment the project kick-starts up until two months after go-live.
A practical plan would be your spending, including all known and unexpected expenses, take up to 75% of the monthly budget. The remaining 25% will then be used to combat issues that arise during the last 6 weeks prior to going live and the first 6 weeks after.
A tip to cut cost is to reduce the number of consultants currently active in your project and replace them with talents within your organisation. The rule of thumb is with every one consultant being replaced, you add two to three internal staff.
Step 9: Define Success
Unlike being financially successful, ERP accomplishment is much harder to measure when you involve many intangible matters, such as change management and people’s expectations.
What matters is how your organisation as a whole understands success. If the project is criticised based on some minor details, it would greatly demotivate the entire ERP team.
That is the reason why frequent meetups and reports are essential. In addition, setting up criteria to define and measure the extent of your success (can be time-based) are also useful.
Your recipe for success can be similar to what we have suggested above, or it can be totally different. Should you draft a change management plan first and then proceed to define what success for an ERP project looks like? Certainly!
Should you feel intimidated by the process? We hope not! After all, a successful go-live will undoubtedly give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. And if the change in the business process is long overdue, then adopt these recommended steps, create your own A-team and ace your project!
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