The Risks & Rewards of ERP
Implementing a new or upgraded ERP into your growing business is a complex, time-consuming, and expensive process. However, ERP also has the potential to be transformational by increasing productivity, operational efficiency, and enabling top-line revenue growth.
Without careful management, ERP projects can easily spiral out of control, resulting in either partial or complete failure. Additionally, they can experience significant delays and cost overruns.
Our ERP Project Management Services
We offer organizations of all sizes in southwest England the opportunity to make transformative changes without the need to assign dedicated full-time internal resources to project management.
We provide expert project management and delivery capabilities to assist the senior leadership team.
Our services are offered on an interim basis, providing flexibility for the duration of the project lifecycle.
Fractional consultancy means that we can adjust the project management time required for a project according to the project requirements. This approach acknowledges the fact that all projects are different also that different project phases require more resource. Compared to the traditional full-time contracting model, this approach offers several benefits for organizations.
Our approach prioritises the business interests and requirements throughout the different phases of implementation, helping to ensure that the project delivers the agreed-upon business benefits.
ERP Project Activities
The following list outlines the core activities we engage in on a typical project.
ERP Software & Vendor Selection
Note - approximately 50% of our projects have already selected their ERP when we get involved, so if you are already at this point, that is not unusual. The following services apply when we are involved earlier in the process.
When it comes to implementing a new or upgraded ERP system for your growing business, one of the crucial steps is selecting the right software and vendor. This process requires careful consideration and evaluation to ensure that you choose a solution and partner that aligns with your organisation's needs and goals.
At Southwest CIO, we understand the importance of this decision and offer expert guidance and support in the ERP software and vendor selection process. We have in-depth knowledge of the ERP market and can assist you in identifying the best software options available.
We begin by conducting a thorough analysis of your business requirements, taking into account factors such as industry-specific functionality, scalability, integration capabilities, and cost. Based on this assessment, we provide you with a shortlist of ERP software solutions.
Next, we assist you in evaluating the shortlisted vendors. We conducts research on each vendor, considering factors like their reputation, track record, customer reviews, support services, and pricing models. We also facilitate vendor demonstrations and arrange meetings with their representatives, allowing you to get a first-hand experience of their offerings.
Throughout the selection process, we prioritise your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that the chosen ERP software and vendor align with your business objectives. We provide you with concise reports and recommendations, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each option.
By leveraging our expertise and industry knowledge, you can make an informed decision that sets the foundation for a successful ERP implementation with the right software and vendor in place.
ERP Project Team Creation
Although the bulk of the heavy implementation work will lie with the software partners consultants, they typically do not take responsibility for design decisions, data migration, and testing.
In order to successfully carry out the project, we will collaborate with you to establish your internal ERP project team that will work closely with your software partner and play a vital role in driving the project forward to a successful conclusion.
The team usually consists of a combination of employees seconded from your business, some working on the project full-time, and others part-time. It can also include external contract staff if necessary.
ERP Project Planning
We develop a comprehensive and detailed project plan which serves as a baseline for the project. This plan serves as a roadmap that outlines all the necessary steps, tasks, and milestones required to achieve project objectives. This plan enables us to effectively manage resources, mitigate risks, and maintain project timelines. Our project plans encompass various aspects such as project scope, deliverables, timelines, dependencies, and resource allocation. Through this meticulous planning process, we are able to set clear goals, identify potential challenges, and establish strategies to overcome them.
We actively engage in managing ERP stakeholders, ensuring effective communication and collaboration between all parties involved. Our comprehensive approach builds strong relationships, developing trust and unity of purpose.
Setup of Governance Structure
We will agree and establish a comprehensive and effective governance structure with you. This governance structure will serve as a framework to guide the project, ensuring that all key stakeholders are involved and informed throughout the project lifecycle.
The governance structure will define the roles and responsibilities of each project team member, including the project sponsor, project manager, and other key stakeholders. It will also outline the decision-making processes, escalation procedures, and communication channels to ensure efficient and transparent project management.
By establishing a well-defined governance structure, we aim to promote accountability, facilitate effective decision-making, and mitigate potential risks and challenges that may arise during the project. This structure will provide clear guidelines and protocols for project monitoring, reporting, and issue resolution, ensuring that the project stays on track and delivers the expected outcomes.
There are several different types of ERP testing that can be utilised to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of their enterprise resource planning systems. These testing methods include unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and user acceptance testing.
Unit testing involves testing individual components or modules of the ERP system to ensure that they function correctly on their own.
Integration testing focuses on testing the integration and interaction between different modules or components of the ERP system to ensure they work together seamlessly.
System testing involves testing the entire ERP system as a whole to ensure its overall functionality and performance.
Finally, user acceptance testing involves testing the ERP system with end users to ensure that it meets their requirements and expectations.
By employing these various types of ERP testing, organizations can identify and address any issues or deficiencies in their ERP systems, ultimately leading to a more robust and reliable system that supports their business operations effectively.
Go-Live & Cutover
To ensure a successful ERP system implementation, careful planning and execution of the Go-Live cutover event are crucial. This event marks a significant milestone in the project, transitioning from the old system to the new one.
Key steps and pre-requisites for a successful ERP Go-Live cutover event:
- Thoroughly test and validate the new system to ensure readiness and identify any potential issues.
- Communicate effectively with all stakeholders, including internal teams and external vendors/partners, to minimize disruptions.
- Create a detailed plan with specific activities and tasks for the cutover period, including contingency plans for unexpected challenges.
- Provide end-user training and support, including training sessions, user guides/manuals, and ongoing post-Go-Live support.