5 aspects to planning a successful ERP go-live
ERP Go-Live is one of the last events to be scheduled in an ERP implementation plan. It is also the most hectic and intense period in the entire ERP project so it deserves some particular attention.
1) Schedule before & after
This is the moment when you throw the switch and your business begins running (much better) on your new ERP. To make that moment magic, you will begin earlier with some check off details. You will also extend the moment to include some days or maybe weeks immediately following the actual go-live.
2) Complete testing
Your ERP testing began months ago and has resulted in much learning and a lot of issues to be resolved. Look over your issue list. What issues are remaining open? Which issues will still be open on the planned go-live date? If any of those are show stoppers, consider delaying go live. The others? Are they an improvement you can live without for a while? The few remaining will require a work around until they can be resolved.
3) Set up your hardware
Be sure your hardware set up and working at all sites. This includes servers and networks as well as desktop computers. It also includes any wireless networks and wireless connections both on your premises and externally. Is the speed of the system at all sites adequate? Have you tested the system under a load? It might work well with only a few super users testing and completely fail when thousands of users across the globe begin using it at ERP go-live.
4) Review your training program
Check with customers and suppliers to be sure any portals they depend on still work with the new ERP. Does anyone at those organizations need any training?
Review your training schedule. Who fell through the cracks? Someone was out to lunch and never got the training they will need. Some others will possibly need remedial training.
5) Reports & support
Are all reports and dashboards designed and ready to run? Have the users accepted them?
Who will support users at ERP go-live – on site or remote? Super users, managers, and technical people will be needed. Maybe only to hold someone’s hand. Maybe to work out a solution to that situation you forgot to test. These people will need to be quickly available for a long time – maybe more than 24 hours! So plan for it and be sure they are fed and rested as much as possible.
You should know the time needed for data conversion and the time for installation of the ERP system. Decide on cutoff times and dates for transactions. Throw the switch and get ready for pats on the back when it is all wildly successful.
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