What Is the Recipe for a Successful ERP Implementation?
Today, we are going to tickle your taste buds so that we can leave you not only hungering for freshly baked bread to nourish your body but also an ERP to nourish your business. After reading the above statement, you must be thinking why bread and not some other food item?
We have gone with the bread metaphor because implementing ERP projects is like baking good bread. It requires a holistic approach and patience as well as the right ingredients, kneading, fermenting, shaping, and then baking.
Still not convinced? Let us break it down into the elements keeping the bread baking metaphor in place.
The right ingredients: Start by understanding the perspective of all the users. Which means you talk to all your subject matter experts (SME). For instance, getting the inputs of a project manager who is an expert at sorting out all the purchase negotiation requirements for a requirement may have different inputs from a person in an engineering role. And when it comes to ERP implementation, all the users are important and more important is to note down all the requirements that are in contention with each other. With the right ingredients in place, you can provide a collaborative forum to ensure ERP success by removing outdated processes and streamlining new processes
The kneading process: Listing out how the solution can help—the results that we expect from the implementation. At this stage, you would have collected all the expectations of the various users of the ERP system. However, collecting only this information is not enough. You must connect the results expected with the various features of the ERP systems that you have shortlisted for your company.
The fermentation process: Building user confidence by ensuring that they are in the loop when compromises are made in conflicting requirements from the ERP implementation. You can start by establishing business goals in the teams keeping in the daily priorities and compromises users would have to make. Sit down groups of main users to explain the reasons behind choosing an ERP and how it will help them. The insight into how the system will interact and help different stakeholders will ensure that you have a lean choice in place to deliver the values required.
The shaping process: Ensure that the cross-functional view of the business is at the center of the system or solution. While the above step of building user confidence is a good step, do not forget the overall objective of the business and cross-functional view of the business. When you have value-driven business process management (BPM), then it makes the ERP implementation successful. This is very important as a central ERP must provide support to often warring stakeholders, and if the ERP does not support the business, overall, all the discussions and preparations will be wasted. When you have a lasting alignment of roles, processes, and technology, it makes the implementation a success.
The baking process: Actual implementation of the ERP system. Train business process coaches and equips them with the understanding of their upstream suppliers of data and the downstream customers of data so that they can take the project forward. It is always an excellent idea to appoint certain people from each department to become champions of the ERP. They will be ones to be trained on the operations, and also the person who will solve problems if any, for the rest of the team. This will also ensure compliance throughout the process.
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