Implementation Strategy

Success for ERP implementations, like all projects, is not determined solely by whether the project was completed on time and on budget. The quality of the final product and its alignment with management’s desired objectives have long-lasting impact beyond the initial project costs. Fixing errors after the system goes live is more costly than correctly implementing the system in the first place. Throughout the implementation, internal audit should have a vital role in verifying that project controls and best practices are followed.

During the strategy phase, key executives make decisions including what software to implement, whether to perform the work in-house or to outsource it, and the approximate timeline for the project. The internal audit function can assist in the decision-making process by assessing whether the selected software is capable of enforcing controls, and if the group performing the implementation has a sound methodology that incorporates a control orientation with an emphasis on meeting business requirements. A strong implementation methodology mitigates overall project risks by carefully defining roles, tasks, and goals.

ERP Implementation Strategy #1: Clearly Define Requirements

The scope of your project can be a critical concern. Businesses that fail to keep tight focus on specific processes and system requirements will find that ERP implementation may require additional time and costs. A well-defined scope will ensure your project does not grow out of hand.

ERP Implementation Strategy #2: Evaluate Your Options

Vague requirements may lead businesses to choose the wrong vendor, handle data migration poorly or result in delayed completion. Obtain input from users and team leads and a carefully evaluate both your legacy systems and planned ERP implementation before making any big decisions.

ERP Implementation Strategy #3: Document User Procedures

Proper documentation can be essential for understanding how users interacted with legacy systems, evaluating and improving workflow and providing users with the concise instructions needed to navigate a new feature-rich working environment. Create and maintain documents detailing key user procedures and routines, both before and during ERP implementation.

ERP Implementation Strategy #4: Select Appropriate Transition Techniques

Every company has unique goals, and an implementation requires careful planning and analysis. Identify ERP transition model according to the size and needs of the industry. It can be Single-Step Implementation, Phased Rollout or Parallel Adoption.

ERP Implementation Strategy #5: Choose the Right Project Leader

Designate an internal project or team lead to manage your implementation efforts that gets what’s really going on, with a complete understanding of your working process or the needs of your staff.

ERP Implementation Strategy #6: Allocate Sufficient Time and Resources for Training

Learning and mastering a new way of operating can often require a considerable investment of time and effort. Provide staff with the time needed to get acquainted with the new ERP system and ensure they have access to ample training resources and opportunities during migration and rollout, and in an on-going capacity.