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If you’ve just implemented an ERP system, you know the implementation can be a daunting, time-consuming task. So, congratulations–after months of planning, strategizing, and hard work you’re live! And the post-live euphoria is real. However, the work is not done yet.
After you’ve implemented your ERP, the steps you take next are as important to your software success as the implementation project itself. Outlined below are a few tips to help you maximize your implementation after you’re live.
Don’t fall victim to the belief that your new ERP system is the band-aid your business needs to solve all their problems. This likely comes from enthusiastic sales pitches or poor communication of the project goals. This can lead to dangerous disenchantment with the system when it neglects to fulfill those goals, thus causing company-wide negativity about the software. Ultimately, this could derail the entire project.
We recommend listening to your employee’s opinions about the software. If they’re unhappy with how the software is working, try to redirect them to the original project goals and investigate whether a miscommunication might have occurred. Plus, remind your team and yourself that your ERP success is tied to longevity–the more company data and user adoption, the better!
Create a Roadmap
A technology roadmap can be a method of implementing new business software without creating bottlenecks or leaving out a deliverable that can hinder ROI if added later in a project. A roadmap is driven by a dynamic set of technical, legal, financial, market-oriented, and organizational requirements. It should be a living document, updated routinely as business needs change, resources are allocated, and new information becomes available.
It’s critical to your ERP post go-live success that your implementation roadmap continues well beyond your intended go-live date. In this way, you are protected from risks big or small (i.e. server space errors and faulty customizations that perpetuate bad data). We know it’s impossible to plan for everything; however, casting a wide net will allow your team to mitigate risks and maximize software performance.
If your employees can’t operate your software, even a flawless implementation won’t allow your employees to truly utilize the benefits of the new system. Thus, robust end-user training serves a crucial role in achieving significant ROI. Sure, many software programs have user-friendly tools and dashboards; however, to leverage deeper information and features, we recommend comprehensive training.
Plus, a good training strategy is the key to getting employees involved with the software, excited to use it, and invested in its long-term success. Going through use cases with every end-user and providing role-based training will ensure everyone knows how to perform their day-to-day tasks in line with software best practices. By repeating and enforcing the best practices, you’ll know the data is correct and workflows are running smoothly during your post go-live period.
Moreover, we recommend having your project team review the goals and objectives you set at the very beginning of the implementation project. Audit the initial objectives in accordance with the actual outcomes, so you can measure the success. Was the go-live date the same as you projected? Did problems with the budgets occur? Etc.
ERP implementation projects are extremely complex and disruptive, so it’s normal to experience some challenges; however, huge diversions from the original roadmap could cause trouble for the future of your software. And, the system may not have been aligned properly with your business process.
Further, you will face challenges down the road if there are mismatches between end-users and workflows, so it’s best to find those discrepancies and eliminate them as early as possible in the ERP post go-live phase. Not to mention, creating a broad look at how your project has evolved over time will allow your team to set appropriate goals for the future.
The post-implementation phase of your software project is a critical transition period in your business and requires careful planning and involvement from the entire team. Without a solid, documented plan, you could risk the long-term success of your software investment.
If you’re looking for advice on how to plan for ERP usage post go-live or are currently struggling through a tough implementation, contact Datix today! We’re a certified Infor partner and Epicor® expert with over 20 years of ERP experience. From start to finish, our certified consultants are there to help you transform your business through software.