Whether you are in the research phase, strongly considering ERP software, or just beginning your implementation journey, it is important to understand the end-to-end preparation needed for you and your team.
If you are in the market for [business] IT Solutions, chances are you have come across Enterprise Resource Planning software, also known as ERP. ERP software boasts the ability to offer end to end technology solutions across all facets of your operation. In addition to its large array of business management capabilities, the software is also extremely configurable to the size of your organization. The variety of ERP products and options for scalability is impressive, leading it be a great choice whether you are a SMB (Small, Medium Business), or operate a large-scale enterprise.
As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Avantiico offers a wide range of consulting services to help you choose and implement the right Microsoft ERP Software to meet your organization’s needs.
Microsoft’s wide range of ERP Products include:
Whether you are in the research phase, strongly considering ERP software, or just beginning your implementation journey, it is important to understand the end-to-end preparation needed for you and your team. During any ERP implementation, client success is the top priority, which is why Avantiico has put together this article to help you understand the significance of properly preparing your team. Not only will the importance be outlined, but we will cover what preparation is necessary at the various stages of implementation, and what can happen if the proper steps aren’t taken up front.
Preparing your team for an ERP implementation is a foundational concept that if not done properly, or to the necessary extent, can have detrimental impact on the success of your project. Below are just a few examples that address this reasoning and include some of the core concepts.
If a company/team is not properly prepared at the very early stages of ERP consideration, it can compromise the very foundation of the project. This will often have a ripple effect and reduces the chances of a successful implementation from the beginning. We refer to this as “Client Readiness” and is an important concept to consider during the research and decision-making phase. If a team is not ready to move onto the next stages but does so anyways, there can be an increased risk of internal discord, costly overhead for additional make-up or preparation, delay in timelines and even a possibility of overall dissemination of the project early on. Furthermore, if key roles in an implementation are not properly defined early on, it can be detrimental to team readiness.
With proper team training and preparation, you reduce the risk of internal discord, frustration, and communication issues throughout your implementation. If these issues do arise, you pose a risk to the day-to-day operations that are often still running in the background. Depending on your industry, these internal issues can have damaging external effects.
During any ERP implementation, having a properly scoped timeline and detailed schedule is essential to the overall management of the project. If a team does not have the training or preparation they need, there is risk to this project timeline. Delays, especially in the later stages can be unfavorable and costly – both to the client and partner. Conveying this can help team members understand their vital role in keeping the project on track.
If a company takes the proper time and consideration to prepare their team, this demonstrates and reiterates the company’s commitment to growth and improvement (a common theme in ERP implementations). With this common understanding, and display on behalf of the company, you will have increased adoption throughout your team, which is crucial at all stages of the implementation.
Another important aspect to consider is knowledge transfer, and the importance of a fully scoped project. By properly preparing your team early on and training them to understand the core concepts of ERP, project outline, goals, and expectations, you help stimulate more meaningful conversations. These conversations facilitate higher quality knowledge transfer, and the ability to expose potential threats earlier on. However, if not done, the team is left to fill in the blanks themselves, increasing the risk of critical details being overlooked.
In the initial stages of ERP consideration, assessing your internal team is a critical task. Some of the first components to consider are your current team size, structure, capabilities, and bandwidth to undertake a project as extensive as an ERP implementation. This assessment is a component of the “Client Readiness” aspect and important before committing to any project. If it is determined that the team/client is not ready to undertake the project scope, there may be additional time and resources spent to get them to project ready.
For the purpose of this article, we will be looking at necessary preparation steps throughout the following stages of an implementation
Once a company has decided to move forward with an ERP implementation and is in contract with their selected Microsoft Partner, there are many steps that they can take to prepare their team for the changes coming as they proceed to lay the groundwork. Change can be difficult for anyone in your business, which is why a proper change management strategy coupled with the necessary preparation activities is vital.
As the project undergoes further scoping, more decisions are finalized, and an in-depth plan agreed upon, implementation efforts can begin. This stage will be more hands on with individuals throughout various departments and will include more opportunities for team preparation.
The actual ERP implementation deployment is commonly referred to as “go-live” and presents many opportunities for preparation to ensure a smooth and successful first day and week.
Once your company has successfully completed the “go-live” requirements, and you have a fully functional ERP system, you will want to communicate the support strategy for any needs that may arise. You should prepare your team to understand the scope of the post go-live support, and what components will be internal versus external (handled by your Microsoft Partner).
The post go-live strategy and stabilization phase should prepare your team to work and problem solve as independently (internally) as possible, within their scope of relevant tasks and responsibilities. Train them to think about growing internal knowledge and being as self-sustaining as possible. In preparing for this, you will also need to make sure the proper set of documents and resources have been outlined and made accessible. By preparing your team with an effective support strategy, and relaying the expectations, you reduce the fear and anxiety around post go-live operations. This method can help promote a mixture of teamwork, collaborative thinking, and independent problem-solving. It will also reassuring your team that there are procedures in place and lines of communication available should they be needed.
No matter what stage of ERP implementation you are at, team preparedness is a necessary component to success. The earlier this preparation plan is able to be scoped and implemented, the better, as there is a high risk of compounding negative effects if not done early on.
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