Today, the conclusion of our prior post on ERP implementation tips. Following are Tips 6 through 10, as derived from an article (author uncredited) at www.erp.com…
Tip 6: Implementing an IT or ERP system requires close, strong and honest communication between the implementer (or VAR) and your firm’s management team. Support from senior management can be critical when morale is headed downhill due to the natural complexities, frustrations and sometimes tedium of a new system implementation. It’s only natural, and we’re all only human. Management must build trust with employees, and that (like implementing a new system) takes time.
Tip 7: Get proper training. We think this is one of the two most critical elements in ERP implementation success (the other being a good plan). Key users need to become system administrators. The consultant’s goal should be to give the client self-sufficiency. For that to happen, clients must take ownership of their systems, and management must commit to the time and cost necessary to give their employees proper training. Over the past 20 years I’ve frequently heard prospective new clients bemoan the lack of training they got from a previous system vendor. Without training, you’re likely to never learn how to use your system properly!
Tip 8: Get all the players involved. The best system in the world will fall on deaf ears if you don’t have your team fully involved and committed. Deployment requires a lot of time and effort. Sometimes, you may even have to (temporarily) bring in extra resources. Make sure your employees understand that the new system will be of benefit to the company and to all its users. But they may have new tasks to perform, new ways of doing things. Take the time to explain carefully how and why you are making these changes. Keep them enthused.
Tip 9: Tame the changes. Roles are going to change within your organization, and projects often hit crossroads. Proper change management is essential to a successful project. Give any changes sufficient attention, discussion and consideration. Allow people time and space to grow into new responsibilities. Create an atmosphere of support for change. Focus on the people. Where possible, try to adapt the system and processes to the habits of your employees. Again, be sure to allow sufficient time and resources for training (see Tip 7).
Tip 10: Finally, think about the future. Implementation is just the beginning. It’s the foundation to a new way of doing business better… of creating and passing along a legacy system … of “systematizing” what you do. Plan for growth. Be thinking ahead. When you’re on stage three, you should be thinking about stage five. As we always tell our clients, deploying an ERP system is not an event, it’s a process.
We hope our Top Ten Tips have given you some food for thought. Questions and comments are always welcome, of course!