Steps to implement an ERP
Kevin Pérez [Vauxoo]
9 June 2021
Previously we had explained
As your business grows, its needs also grow. The use of an ERP becomes essential for the automation of many practices associated with the operational and productive aspects of your company, in addition, it integrates the information between its different areas.
From our experience as implementers we separate in 3 types of implementations for an ERP, all depend on the number of users and whether there will be developments within the ERP system or not. Knowing the implementation process gives you a clearer idea of the efforts that you will have to do to have a successful ERP implementation.
One of the main characteristics of this implementation is that it works immediately after installation, it is parameterized and configured, but it is not modified. It works primarily for small and medium-sized businesses looking to reduce implementation and support costs in the future, which means that as the software updates and evolves, more features are added to the system. They are usually used by companies with few users.
Out-of-the-box implementation process
Demo: We generate a customer demonstration to let them know the modules they need for their company and verify if the software offers it. In this type of implementation, the client must adapt to the software, since no development is planned and there will be no type of modification.
Parameterization: Our project manager uses all the information obtained from the demonstration to configure every module one by one, in this stage the migration of data from the previous system to the new ERP occurs.
Testing and production output: Tests are generated with the client, if they do not agree, they are re-parameterized and tested, all with the purpose of going to production.
Change management: Change management seeks to facilitate and achieve successful implementation of the transformation processes in a company, it implies working with people to accept and assimilate changes and reduce their resistance to them. The change management process can be small in this implementation, since there are not as many users within the company, which means less effort.
Small development projects
In these projects, between 200 and 400 hours of development are invested, in addition to the implementation time. Unlike out-of-the-box implementations, small development projects begin with a gap analysis where the gap description is obtained and how to solve it, these projects have a duration of two to three months, time that is invested only in developing the software to solve the gap between what the tool does and what the business needs.
Small development projects implementation process
GAP analysis: The project manager collects all the information on the company's business needs. It begins with an out-of-the-box ERP and training to the user, so they can fully comprehend the system, after that the project manager and the user can review the gap and find the best solution to solve it. A list of business needs divided by area and an estimate of the plan, its phases and the budget for the next steps is provided to the client in this stage.
Parameterization and development: In this stage, the ERP begins to be configured with the parameters defined in the gap analysis, in parallel it begins with the developments that are required. Throughout this stage, tests are carried out with day-to-day use cases with the client, in order to validate the advances and functionalities before going to production.
Output to production: After having carried out the development and the tests, it begins with the output to production, in this type of projects the output is divided into several parts, since if the whole system were to be released at the same time, there would be several users changing the software the same day, generating risks and making it more complex. In this type of project there is not a complete production point, it is a stepped process where the accounting area can be ready and working in the ERP while the purchasing area can be under development.
Change management: In this last stage, the client must start with a change management for a successful implementation, in addition they are given support to continue reviewing the developed tools and stabilize them.
Large development project
This type of project lasts a minimum of 9 to 10 months and the process will depend on the type of developments to be generated, these implementation projects are among the most complex.
Large development project implementation process:
Identification of the interested parties: It is one of the most important processes and is carried out before the project is accepted. At this stage, all those who may be involved or affect the project are identified and classified by their level of influence or impact within the organization. It takes place throughout the life cycle of the project, taking place periodically.
Risk matrix: This stage consists of identifying the possible risks when implementing the ERP, determining the probability of their occurrence and their impact on the company if they materialize.
GAP analysis: It begins with a gap analysis to determine the scope of the tool against the functions that the client needs and generate a solution to that gap.
Functionality proofs of concept: At this stage, an initial Odoo configuration begins to cover the workflows already analyzed. By the end of this phase, core users have full demos of their flows and can test them individually.
Data is imported and specific developments are started: Once the proofs of concept are completed, the solution is shown to the key users of the company and the developments in which it would be worth investing time are validated, lists are generated with the essential specific developments and the non-essential specific developments. In this stage, the data is imported into the ERP and in parallel the specific developments that are considered essential are made.
Validation and training: At this stage, the company users are trained and the last validations by the client take place to start the production output.
Output to production: This stage is divided into two parts, the first part is to bring some modules to production, check if incidents occur and deliver the resolution of incidents.The second part occurs one month after the first production release, the list of non-essential developments is reviewed and together with the customer's feedback the prioritization of said developments changes, 50% of the developments detected at the beginning are not necessary and 25 % equals new developments.
Change management: In this type of project, change management must be present from the beginning of the project to mitigate the problems in the adaptation to the new system by the employees, starting with a campaign to establish the identity of the project and the strategy of how to communicate it. In addition to being able to help and supervise the training of employees.
Why should I do change management when implementing an ERP?
Change management must be carried out to manage and readjust the transition of employees in changing habits, mitigating the decrease in their productivity. In addition, it helps those employees to understand the functions of the new system or a specific feature. Without change management, it is more difficult for employees to adapt and adopt an ERP as part of their job.
An ERP implementation project has a very wide scope and can lead a company to operational efficiency, you must remember that it is not a temporary task, it is a continuous process and that it will often have to be reviewed to avoid problems.