Preparing Your Organization For a Successful Cloud ERP Implementation

Posted by Rebecca Bridges on Apr 6, 2020 12:58:00 PM

In ERP, ERP Partner, Cloud ERP

When embarking on implementing a new cloud-based ERP system, several factors that can impact the success of the project. Getting off on the right foot can positively impact the trajectory of the implementation. Below are five key considerations for preparing your organization for a successful cloud-based ERP implementation. Each has a set of questions that can serve as a preparatory checklist.

1. Ensure Executive Support

Business man pointing to transparent board with text Where do I Start?The absolute first task in preparing for an ERP implementation is ensuring the executive team has all bought-in on the project. There should be a clearly written business case that the executive team can sign off on. Additionally, the executive team should communicate this initiative, along with the reasons why, to the entire organization.

Key questions to consider:

  • Is there a documented business case (“the why”) for the new ERP implementation?
  • What is the expected outcome?
  • Have you estimated a return on investment (ROI) and determined key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring the ROI?
  • Is the ERP implementation one of the top strategic goals?
  • Has a budget been allocated to the implementation?
  • Has a project sponsor been assigned?
    • Sponsor = Executive level individual that promotes the project’s success. It could be one person (CEO, CFO, COO, CIO) or several (Board of Directors).
  • Has the business case been communicated to the organization? Or has a date been set?

2. Review People Readiness

ERP implementations are large-scale change initiatives that will impact nearly every individual in the organization. Therefore, the next consideration is your people - both those that will be impacted by the ERP as well as those that will be chosen to participate on the project team. It’s important to start evaluating how well your people can take change and just how much change they can handle. It’s also a time to start considering who will participate on the implementation team.

Key questions to consider:Successful diverse young business team giving a victorious thumbs up to show their success and motivation, close up view of their raised hands

  • How do the people in your company perceive change?
  • How much change can your organization handle?
  • Are there certain teams or departments that will readily accept or resist the new ERP?
  • Implementation team questions:
    • Does your team have the skills and time that is necessary for the implementation?
    • Have any been through an ERP implementation before?
    • Do you have any “cheerleaders” that will positively promote the new ERP?
    • Does your project leader have project management skills?
    • Does anyone on the team have experience in the new system (possibly from a prior employer)?

3. Review Data Readiness

Double exposure of businessman shows modern technology as conceptOne of the most common causes for go-lives to be delayed is data migration taking longer than expected. Before kicking off the implementation, your organization’s data should be identified, reviewed, and likely cleansed.

Key questions to consider:

  • Have you identified all the sources of data?
  • Can you quantify your data?
    • Ex: How many active vendors, customers, parts/services do you have?
  • Is there an efficient means of extracting the data?
  • Do you have an extraction plan?
  • Is the data clean?
    • Are there duplicate records?
    • Are there multiple versions of the same thing?
    • Are there inactive records that should not be brought into the new system?
  • Do you have a data maintenance plan for keeping the data clean and up to date as you make the transition to the new ERP?

4. Review Process Readiness

Possibly a more obvious consideration, are examining your processes. It is likely that this has already been completed to identify requirements for the new ERP system, however, if not, now is a great time to start documenting your processes.

Key questions to consider:

  • Do you understand your processes and what is a true requirement for the new ERP?
  • Have you mapped and documented your key processes?
  • Are your processes optimized today?
  • Are there any processes undergoing an improvement project?
  • Are there any processes that can be automated?

5. Review Infrastructure Readiness

Choosing a cloud-based ERP system is advantageous for many reasons, one of which is not having to support the on-premise hardware. However, there are infrastructure considerations for the cloud.

Key questions to consider:

  • Do you have high-speed wifi coverage in your facility/facilities?
  • Are there spaces where a Wireless Access Point will need to be added?
  • Do you have a redundancy plan?
  • What devices will be needed to efficiently connect to the cloud-based ERP?

Hand drawn arrow design doodle icon on front of business man feet as concept

Although each of these topics merits their own blog, answering these basic preparatory questions can help your organization get a cloud-based ERP implementation started on the right path. This preparation takes time, however thorough planning at the start of an implementation is the best way to mitigate risks later.

 

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