ERP Methodology Implementation An ERP
Implementation decision should be treated as a project, such as its importance within the organization. It should be planned in detail and should consider activities that can be tracked, staring with the choice of competitors until the GO LIVE.
After its GO LIVE, another concern must be present in the day-to-day of all C Levels: how to keep the ERP version up to date, incorporating new features and ensuring the intelligent use of all system capacity. Once your vendor is chosen, the ERP implementation project must go through the planning, execution, and production phase. In all these phases, a subject that can not go unnoticed is the quality of the tests to be performed and possible tools that can assist implementation team in this task.
Planning: At this time, there are no changes to your company’s routine. This is a phase of information gathering, where the Project Plan should be developed. Consider at this stage, among other important aspects, what will be the test methodology to be applied, the test period and resources that will be involved in this period, how many test cycles need to be performed and especially if there is a significant productivity gain when choosing some market tool to automate repetitive testing in more than one cycle.
Execution: This is the phase where the previously developed Project Plan is put into practice. It includes software installation, configuration, training and testing of the new system.
Be suspicious of Project Plans with a succinct test phase that do not involve key users or that simplify this phase minimizing their risks. Based on the test´s result implementation partner will seek system’s acceptance: how its functionalities and usability are experienced by the users.
Engaging users in this approval is a critical success factor for your project. There are usually two phases of testing: the first one where the tests are done individually and the customizations and configurations are tested one by one; and the second one, known as integrated testing, where all process flow – for example, from the entry of a purchase requisition thru the payment to the supplier – is tested. During the integrated tests the boundaries between the different business areas of your company are transposed.
Production: once the system has been accepted, this phase is characterized by the ERP´s use in the day to day activities of your company. The problems and challenges faced during this step will be inversely proportional to the quality and comprehensiveness of the tests performed in the execution stage. Once in production, ensure proper support for ERP usage, so it will continue to be relevant to your business. This support should be used to allow users to ask questions about the use of the system, to promote eventual parameterization corrections in case of internal process changes and to implement improvements to the initial scope of implementation. In a more advanced degree of support, constant updating of the implemented version should be a goal to be pursued by the company. In these cases, there are tools that can help in the analysis of customized functionalities, pointing out which points have been modified and must be retested again. Once again, a Project Plan for Updates must be prepared and the testing methodology followed to ensure the continued success of your ERP.