A template ERP implementation schedule for your project
When it comes to enterprise ERP implementations it’s usually better to apply more, rather than less, planning. However, believe it or not, many folks just don’t know how to begin the process.
Consequently, as a CIO/CTO or IT manager, if you find yourself in the midst of this kind of business conflict, I’d like to offer a pro forma what/why implementation template in order to help you move away from ‘thinking’, and toward ‘doing’, before you get so distracted by all the bells and whistles related to the technology itself.
Bear in mind, this is primarily based on management administrivia driven by a pre-installation effort, and represents just a spitball framework; but nonetheless, it should get you started in the right direction.
Strategic/tactical business case(s)
This is where ERP’s overarching rationale emerges. Let’s face it; you won’t be able to ‘sell the cost’ of a complex system to ‘supervisory’ management, unless you’re able to define where business value exists. If you execute this task badly, you’ll be doomed to failure. On the other hand, if you do it effectively, you’ll have a fighting chance of getting what you want.
This is where the advantages or weaknesses of operational emerge. Be very careful here, since this task will define your thinking.
Multi-level budget plan
This where the economic ‘rubber hits the road’. If you short yourself here, trust me, you’ll pay for it later. ‘More is better’ is the best rule to follow.
Partner selection and validation evolution
With ERP, going alone is a risky proposition. Consequently, you’ll need the right partners, at the right time. Choose wisely.
Select and charter project management team
This group of operators will guide your ERP reality. This is yet another ‘choose wisely’ moment of note.
Internal/external communications plan
Enterprise ERP systems are complex, and touch ‘everything’ directly or indirectly. Consequently, you need to establish a proper set of messages to keep your herd of cats in line. If you do it badly, you lose the confidence of all parties, thereby running the chance of falling off the road sooner, rather than later.
Some folks think that this task is a waste of time. However, in concert with the communications plan, I have found that developing and publishing a formal ‘Benefits Finding’ to the enterprise, helps everyone stay focused on ‘why’ the effort is based on.
Senior management validation/sign-off, i.e. CEO/COO/CFO/divisional managers/line mangers
Everything that comes prior this task, goes to the successful generation of this business validation. If you do it well, you get to ‘Pass Go’ and move on; fail in this case, and you may as well head home.
While you are doing the pre-mount intellectual work, plan on executing an enterprise training assessment to define the quality of your overall workforce. In simple terms, this means how ‘smart’ your workforce is, and how quickly ’new ideas’ are accepted. Remember, ‘the system’ itself will be happy to lie around and do nothing, unless your workforce is ready as soon as you turn on the lights.
Customize training materials
This supports remedial tasks once the assessment is complete. It represents a plan inside a plan, but will be critical to everything at a workforce level.
Core team training
This training focus is based on line management, or the people to tell other people how to make the system operate. Note this effort represents a different training focus, requiring different task elements.
This is the core workforce undergoing at-large education.
As I suggested earlier the aforementioned tasks relate to administrative and managerial levels, not the systems side. We can get into that at a later time. But as I said, use this pro forma as a starting point, but instead, plan on adding your own expanded requirements as you go.
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