Quick Tip: Rules of ERP Implementation- ERP Implementation Prioritize & Follow Through
Rule #6: Prioritize and follow through
This Quick Tip is part of a series on the six rules of a successful ERP implementation. The first rule is to provide full management support to the ERP implementation, the second rule is to have a system champion, the third rule is to get employee buy-in, the fourth rule is to have written plans, and the fifth rule is to determine an ERP training approach that works well for your business.
The sixth rule is to prioritize your data conversion and to follow through on both deadlines and the ERP implementation process as a whole.
If you can confidently follow the five rules that were discussed in the previous Quick Tips, then you are well on your way to a successful ERP implementation.
As for the sixth and final rule, make sure you:
Choose your priorities
Most companies do 80 percent of their business with 20 percent of their customers; with that 20 percent, comes 80 percent of all their part numbers.
If you plan to convert your data a little at a time, start with the 20 percent that will yield 80 percent of your business.
Avoid the “super user”
When training, do not depend on one highly motivated employee to become an expert on the ERP software and then teach it to others. This approach ensures a delayed implementation, at best, and an outright failure, at worst. Each person who will be using the software should be involved in some portion of the initial ERP training, especially because adequate training is a major determinant of implementation success.
If a business is slow, your company may be less willing to spend the money on thorough ERP training for multiple employees. On the other hand, if the business is growing or is very busy, employees may feel they don’t have adequate time to do their regular jobs and take on learning something new.
As discussed in Rule #4, make sure that software training plans are scheduled with each employee’s workload in mind and that each employee’s goals are attainable.
Set a firm “go live” date
People need deadlines to hold them accountable. When you extend the date because people are “not ready yet”, they will continue to procrastinate. When you set a firm “go live” date and stick to it, your employees will have to prioritize learning the software or face the consequences of not being prepared.
Keep the momentum going
Avoid stops and starts in the ERP implementation process, at all cost. Once people get excited about using the software, it is better to keep the momentum going, even if you only implement a little at a time.
TIP: Accept the fact that you will never find a “perfect time” to implement and train employees on a new system.
As you research, select, and implement your ERP software, do not forget why you began the search in the first place. Each company has their own specific reasons for needing an ERP system. What is yours?
As growing pains and struggles arise, remind yourself and your team why the pains are necessary and work together to push through them. The bottom line is that, although your new ERP software will require a lot of time, training, and effort, it will be worth it and will position your company for sustained growth and profitability.
Review any of the previous ERP implementation rules by clicking the links above!