5 Ways You Can Conquer ERP Failure at Go-Live
You started planning your new ERP system some years ago. You set up a project plan for the implementation and have worked your plan diligently. This is true whether your plan was a six-week implementation or a two-year implementation. But the ERP go-live date is coming up quickly now. Will your project be successful or will it stumble head on towards ERP failure?
Efficient Data Conversion
Look again at your data conversion process. Do all the users have all the data they need to successfully begin their work at go-live? You probably found some additional data conversion requirements in your testing and these should be ready for the big day. A lack of data readiness is a surefire route to ERP failure.
You, your team, and the users have run ERP test after ERP test and created many issues you have logged. By now pretty much all of them have been fixed. Check again and get feedback from the ERP users and your steering committee. If any issues aren’t going to be resolved by day one then those remaining cannot be show stoppers and you will need to have a temporary work-around plan in place that people will use without complaint for a short time.
Is everyone sufficiently trained? If you answered “No”, please proceed directly to ERP failure, do not pass go, do not collect $200. Your ERP implementation team members and super users should be well trained. Check the class logs against your record of needed training person-by-person to be sure no one was absent for their class and get those few people back into remedial classes. Everyone who will use the system in any way should have some training. That includes all from the warehouse worker who needs to know how to record an inventory transaction to a factory worker who only needs to enter time on a job to the vice president who wants to check a dashboard hourly.
Survey the users to check if there are still any concerns to be addressed. I know you did this already but *your ERP implementation will not be successful unless all the users are satisfied their work is improved or at least the same as before.
Be There at Go-Live
Schedule your implementation team, the super users and all the IT staff to be present during the final ERP data conversion. You will have one last chance to test the systems before people will use them live. Have a backup plan to revert to the old system just in case. Then, all the team, the super users, and the IT people will need to be on hand and wandering about informally checking with users when they begin real live work. Mostly this will be easy hand-holding. But there is a chance that the once a decade weird case you never tested will show up on the ERP go-live day. Murphy’s Law will certainly be waiting for you. Be there for your users all day and all shifts. The need to be present will drop quickly but that first day is important.
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