Implementing an ERP system, especially at an enterprise-level, can be daunting. You’ll need several teams of the right people not only to ensure your new system is configured to optimally support your business, but also to help your employees transition to the new system seamlessly while communicating to your customers about changes that impact them.
Most ERP implementations follow the same phased structure which may take months or even years. Some of these phases may overlap or be further subdivided into agile sprints.
- Research or Planning Phase: understanding and auditing the way your business currently does work. Creating a project and staffing plan.
- Design Phase: reviewing in detail standard businesses processes and how the ERP system will need to be modified to support your business needs. Defining and mapping roles of users and identifying key users to help.
- Development or Realization Phase: taking the blueprint from the design phase and implementing needed changes and customizations in code. Enriching and mining data.
- Testing and Training Phase: most ERP systems have several rounds of testing to confirm the system works as intended, especially across multiple sites if needed. Training the users on the new system and any big changes is also critical.
- Deployment or Roll-out Phase: implementing the new system live and turning off the old systems. There may be a hard cut-over timeline and then a few weeks supporting multiple systems as critical tools are phased in or out.
- Aftercare/Ongoing Support Phase: as users work with the new system, additional configuration changes may be required, or additional training needed. This phase ensures no one is left behind after the shift to the new ERP system.
These stages are supported by multiple teams of people doing critical functions within the overall project team. The roles are likely to be filled with people who don’t currently work for your organization as it’s almost impossible to both do the current work and design and implement an ERP system on “nights and weekends.” To effectively support your implementation, you’re going to need some help including, but not limited to:
- Change Management
- Communications Management (internal and external)
- Data Management
- Project Management
- Integration Management (and potential sub teams relevant to your business)
- Technical Training
Not Sure Where to Start? We Can Help!
At Align Workforce Solutions, we are currently supporting several organizations at various stages of their ERP projects. Most notable, is our work with a large manufacturing company and their new Microsoft Dynamics ERP system with a Salesforce.com integration. They reached out to us knowing how hard it was to staff for critical roles within any ERP implementation and were worried that everything would go smoothly for their employees and their customers. Our contractors are working throughout the overall project team providing Change Management, Technical Training, QA, BSA and Project Management support. We have also started on their Product Lifecycle Management system, implementing TeamCenter from Siemens. As soon as they contacted us, we jumped in to assist and provided a full suite of consultants to deliver a successful Go Live, with end-user adoption rates higher than 90% An amazing rate for this monumental project when a majority of businesses report 40% or below adoption rates.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the consultants assigned to us from Align Workforce Solutions. We are enjoying a 99.6% approval of the system and training and that’s in large part due to the ATR team’s efforts.” —PMO Director