5 Phase ERP Implementation Process
Enterprise Resource Planning software systems must be thought of as a journey, not a destination. Successful ERP software or accounting software application programs leverage a continuous process improvement cycle to continually refine and optimize the application software system.
Your ERP software or accounting software application should evolve as your organization evolves. Once into a production environment, it is very advisable to perform periodic post-implementation benchmark reviews and system utilization checks at least semi-annually in order to evaluate how the business software application is achieving specific business processes and project objectives as well as to analyze the technical and functional use of the system. An unbiased measurement can also be used to further tailor the ERP software system for greater effectiveness and user satisfaction. Key performance indicators to be reviewed and periodically measured during post-implementation analysis include the following:
- Compare, measure, trend and verify the planned and achieved stakeholder group objectives
- Compare, verify and trend the most critical success factors
- Be sure to trend user-based utilization and productivity metrics
- Analyze the anticipated or planned software benefits from new software version upgrades
- Assemble an internal or external advisory panel and participate in vendor user groups
- Verify 'Second Wave' benefit opportunities (e.g. initially planned implementation activities that didn't make the cut in the original implementation)
Most companies face very similar obstacles when moving to an enterprise-wide, fully integrated, central business system. Traditional and on demand ERP systems (also known as Software as a Service ERP systems) are outstanding tools to promote central information systems processing, access to real-time information and tremendous labor efficiencies. However, ERP systems promote more than just business software systems consolidation; they also promote alignment between information systems utilization and the organization's business strategies. When implemented correctly and used effectively, ERP systems directly support the company's mission and go to market strategies. However, in order to be successful, it is imperative to recognize the total ERP software equation and then design, implement and refine the IT solution over time while constantly re-aligning people, processes and technology to the new single system, enterprise-wide paradigm.