Implementing an ERP Life Cycle Successfully
What is ERP?
ERP (Enterprise Resource
planning) covers the technique and concepts employed for the integrated
management of business as a whole, from the viewpoint of the effectiveness
use of management resources, to improve the efficiency of an enterprise.
ERP packages are integrated software packages that support the above ERP
What is ERP life cycle?
ERP lifecycle is in
which highlights the different stages in implementation of An ERP.
There are different stages of the ERP implementation that are as give below:
Ø Pre evaluation
Ø Evaluation Package
Ø Project Planning
Ø GAP analysis
Ø Team training
Ø Post implementation
1. Pre evaluation Screening
Once the company has decided to go for the ERP system, the search for the package must start as there are hundreds of packages it is always better to do a through and detailed evaluation of a small number of packages, than doing analysis of dozens of packages. This stage will be useful in eliminating those packages that are not suitable for the business process.
2. Evaluation Package
This stage is considered an important phases of the ERP implementation, as the package that one selects will decide the success or failure of the project. Implementation of an ERP involves huge investments and it is not easy to switch between different packages, so the right thing is do it right the first time. Once the packages to be evaluated are identified, the company needs to develop selection criteria that permit the evaluation of all the available packages on the same scale.
3. Project Planning
This is the phase that designs the implementation process. It is in this phase that the details of how to go about the implementation are decided. Time schedules deadlines, etc for the project are arrived at. The plan is developed, roles are identified and responsibilities are assigned. It will also decide when to begin the project, how to do it and it completion. A committee by the team leaders of each implementation group usually does such a planning.
4. GAP analysis
This is considered the most crucial phase for the success of ERP implementation. This is the process through which the companies create a complete model of where they are now, and in which direction will they opt in the future. It has been estimated that even the best packages will only meet 80% of the companys requirements. The remaining 20% presents problematic issues for the companys reengineering.
It is in this phase that human factors are taken into consideration. While every implementation is going to involve a significant change in number of employees and their job responsibilities, as the process becomes more automated and efficient, it is best to treat ERP as an investment as well as cost cutting measure.
6. Team training
Training is also an important phase in the implementation, which takes place along with the process of implementation. This is the phase where the company trains its employees to implement and later, run the system. Thus, it is vital for the company to choose the right employee who has the right attitude- people who are willing to change, learn new things and are not afraid of technology and a good functional knowledge.
This is the phase where one tries to break the system. One has reached a point where the company is testing the real case scenarios. The system is configured and now you must come up with extreme cases like system overloads, multiple users logging on at the same time, users entering invalid data, hackers trying to access restricted areas and so on. This phase is performed to find the weak link so that it can be rectified before its implementation.
8. Post implementation
One the implementation is over, the vendor and the hired consultants will go. To reap the fruit of the implementation it is very important that the system has wide acceptance. There should be enough employees who are trained to handle problems those crops up time to time. The system must be updated with the change in technology. The post implementation will need a different set of roles and skills than those with less integrated kind of systems.
However, an organization can get the maximum value of these inputs if it successfully adopts and effectively uses the system.
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