Phases of ERP Implementation life cycle
Struggling about the process of how to implement ERP software in your business? Go through the complete guide on phases of ERP Implementation life cycle and know where do you stand
The implementation of ERP software is not a single day process. It includes a series of sequential steps that lead to the effective execution of the software which is ready to use by the business entity. The life cycle of the implementation process goes on from a few months to even a year. ERP implementation life cycle is said to a process that starts from the early planning stage and goes beyond the going live stage for ERP software in the organization.
ERP is first an attitude; second, a process, and only third, a set of tools. - Alexis Leon
Before you start to invest your resources in the ERP software, do go through the complete stages of the life cycle of the ERP implementation. It is always advisable to first go through the steps, understand them completely and then start with the implementation of the ERP software, as the complete process is an expensive and time consuming one. The inadequate analysis may lead to failures and errors in the implementation and also result in loss of funds.
The phases of the ERP implementation life cycle are discussed below
ERP Implementation Phase 1: Finding out the right package/software
There are plenty of choices available in the market when it comes to the selection of the right ERP software. The business should first analyze its needs and requirement and ask the question such as why and for what purpose they need ERP software? The software that you choose should be a great fit as per your industry and sub-sector, should be able to meet customer’s requirements, user-friendly and also the one that helps in achieving your organization’s goals and long term objectives. A wrong choice can cost you a lot in the whole process.
ERP Implementation Phase 2: Project Planning
Planning is considered to be the foundation of every process. Without planning the whole process can go into different undesirable directions. So a proper systematic and clear plan should be laid out. The plan should define the prospective timeline, scheduling of tasks, delegation, and assign of specific roles and responsibilities to the workforce for the implementation of the software and few back-up steps should also be defined in advance if anything goes wrong in between.
ERP Implementation Phase 3: Training of Employees
Training of the employees is very essential in every business process as the software will be of no use if the workforce is not capable enough to work on it. Thus a proper training on how to use the ERP software is done to increase the knowledge and skills of the employees of the organization. The employees should be willing to adapt to the changes in the working pattern and should be accepting the new ways of operation of business functions.
ERP Implementation Phase 4: Gap Analysis
While doing the training you are bound to find a few places where the ERP system processes widely differ from what your team expects them to be. GAP analysis is the study of identifying the difference between the current way of the organization’s working and processes defined in ERP software without customization. The step of Analysis of GAP in the ERP life cycle is to anticipate the required levels of customizations to achieve the business goals through ERP implementation.
ERP Implementation Phase 5: Re-engineering
The identified GAPs can be closed either by changing the current processes as the company works or by customizing ERP software to align it with organizations working. Re-engineering is the process that ensures that the ERP system is configured or customized before to match the overall goals of the process. This step in the ERP implementation life cycle helps in redefining the roles and responsibilities of the employees and prepare them for the upcoming change.
ERP Implementation Phase 6: Testing of ERP software
Testing is the only way to ensure that you have satisfied all of the requirements for accurate data. - O’Sullivan
In order to eliminate the risk of errors or bugs in the software, testing is an essential step in the life cycle of ERP implementation. It is a caution step that ensures that the software is functioning appropriately before it is launched for the use. No business would want to face issues of failures after the software is fully live.
ERP Implementation Phase 7: Application/Going Live!
This is the phase in the life cycle where the actual implementation happens. After going through all the phases above, here finally the ERP software is launched for use by the business organization. Data transfer and conversions are done at this very point. Your ERP software is completely ready for use.
ERP Implementation Phase 8: Support and Maintenance
This is the very last step of the ERP implementation life cycle. At this stage, the support team comes into the role. ERP software is in constant need of updates and bug fixes. For efficient use in the business, it should be maintained on a frequent basis. Any minor problems should also be fixed side by side.
In order to reach growth and success, every small decision should be taken after consideration and analysis. Implementation of ERP software is a fruitful affair for every business, that’s why it becomes necessary to analyze each and every aspect and follow the right path of implementing it.
Final words from wisdom:
An information system only has value when people use it correctly. - Stephen Harwood
MD, Finbyz Tech Pvt Ltd