In my blog post ‘Crawl, walk and run your way to a successful ERP deployment’. I discussed how an incremental approach can mitigate the complexities of ERP implementation, de-risk the process and deliver value sooner. One complexity around ERP that is sometimes underestimated is the critical importance of people, processes and data to successful implementation. Implementing an ERP solution is not just about buying software and flicking a switch, it means mapping a whole new data and process structure onto the way the business works, and impacting the daily working lives of its entire people. In this blog, I consider some elements of best practice for managing these people, process and data components, based on 3V Solutions extensive experience in helping our clients succeed on their ERP journey.
Sustain engagement with people from C-level to shop floor
Implementing an ERP is a major organizational change that impacts people across the enterprise. The people dynamics of change management have been well covered elsewhere, from the Kubler-Ross Change Acceptance Model and others, to the array of books and courses on the subject. Here, I focus on some specific areas that we have found need particular attention in implementing an ERP.
C-level sponsorship and commitment is critical. Someone at the top of the organization needs to articulate and drive the vision of success throughout the implementation project, and maintain focus on that vision right across the business. Without this, it is easy for resistance to change or competing business priorities to knock the project off-course. The workforce is a key stakeholder group. Implementing an ERP entails changes to working practices which may deliver benefit to other parts of the business but not directly to the people they impact.
The deployment process requires participation in activities like data cleansing, data loads and user testing that end users can see as an overhead. Engaging the workforce early, actively seeking and acting on their input, training and training again, and focusing on direct benefits can help ensure the whole organization stays focused on the same goal.
Understand your processes and be open to best practice
Existing business processes need to be formally detailed and understood so ERP defined processes can be mapped onto them. ERP platforms have been developed and tuned over time to reflect best business practice. If there is a mismatch between the ERP platform and an existing business process, the most productive course of action is likely to be to adapt that process to fit the corresponding process in the ERP. Amending the ERP software to fit the existing process will almost certainly be sub-optimal for the business process, and introduces the overhead of maintaining that adaptation through all subsequent versions of the ERP.
While the capabilities offered by technologies like APIs and low-code application tools make it increasingly possible to build functionality out from the ERP and cover this kind of mismatch, it is always worth challenging whether the process needs to change.
Know your data and see the data opportunities
It is vital to understand and have control over all business data when embarking on an ERP journey, just as it is essential to understand and have control over business processes. Implementing the ERP can open up new opportunities to maximize value from existing data, or to highlight where existing data is redundant to the core business process. Knowing precisely what data the organization owns, controls and has access to is vital to delivering maximum value from an ERP implementation.
How 3V Solutions can help ?
3V Solutions is a trusted SAP Partner backed by solid leadership with experience in implementing and managing 20+ SAP Solutions from mid-sized to Fortune 1000 companies across the globe since 1997. Leveraging SAP best practices and industry experience, we understand our client’s unique business needs, enabling us to deliver the right solutions to embark on their digital enterprise journey. If you are considering an ERP journey, we can engage with you to understand your needs and bring our extensive expertise and experience to make that journey successful.
What next ?
To continue the conversation, visit us online https://3vsolutions.com/ or contact us at +1-844-380-4262. We will be happy to discuss your ERP journey with no heavy sales pitch involved.