How to Achieve a Successful ERP Integration Go-Live

For many it may appear that the ERP go-live milestone is the last lap in the integration rat race. In fact, it is only the beginning. Why? Because no system, regardless of how well an ERP integration is planned, behaves appropriately once operators begin to put stress on the platform.

Consequently, for the ERP manager and their team, as soon as one turns the lights on, things will begin to behave oddly’, from experiencing early data corruptions and slow downs that worked fine during final testing, to complete reporting failures. When planning for any ERP integration, be confident in one's previous work, but be prepared to respond to any glitch or irregular behavior immediately by finding and fixing the problem at go-live. To help in the quest for the ultimate go-live launch model here are some elements to consider;

Have You Communicated Effectively throughout the Enterprise?

There is nothing worse than pulling the trigger on ERP go-live, and finding that one or more users didn’t get the memo. In this event, it is critical to deliver the news from the top management tier down by using both direct and indirect communication beginning with senior management, followed by visiting each enterprise department head or line supervisor to ensure they all understand their roles in the launch.

it only takes one person to be in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing for the ERP integration go-live to fail

Once those ‘meet and greet’ processes are accomplished, send a universal all-hands email to the entire enterprise again reminding management and its user base that something big is about to happen, when, and at what time. Finally, during the last three-day period before a practical roll-out have ones staff circulate throughout the enterprise to talk up the event. In this case, the value return can be something as small as one person being reminded about the ERP integration, but regardless it only takes one person to be in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing for the ERP integration go-live to fail.

What Resources Are Planned to Support the Roll-Out?

As mentioned earlier, no system works correctly the first time, and in the case of comprehensive ERP integrations, this characteristic is multiple many times over. Consequently, it is important to understand that once the balloon does go up on a support requirement, the ‘confidence clock’ begins to tick down to zero, and if one hasn’t handled a problem efficiently as expected, the resulting need to recover user confidence becomes more and more frangible.

These elements will pay dividends down the road, and it should always be remembered that the potential of altering a comprehensive ERP system will be even more frightening to the user community than management. Consequently, the more confidence one provides throughout the ERP go-live process, the better the ultimate enterprise result will be over time.

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Rick Carlton

About the author…

Rick Carlton dba PRRACEwire, has worked as a tech journalist, writer, researcher, editor and publisher for many years. In addition to his editorial work, Rick has also served as a C-Level executive/consultant for a wide-range of private and public sector U.S. and International companies.

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Rick Carlton