1. Define the business objectives for the ERP project
The essential step in managing your ERP project is to determine the business needs that the software package must meet. This involves asking the right questions:
A. Why implement such a system?
To better manage the company’s activity: It can be a question of improving the monitoring and exploitation of data, replacing an outdated solution with the company’s evolutions or replacing a set of heterogeneous applications.
B. What are the major points to improve?
Coordination of services via a tool for centralizing information, Controlling deadlines by standardizing and accelerating processes. This question must be considered in light of the tools already in place within the structure.
C. What are the key data of the activity?
Sales, production, supplies, inventory, cash flow. The hierarchy of information allows the ERP project to be refined. The definition of the objectives is done at the management level: it is necessary that the managers adhere to the project unanimously, and that they agree on the orientations to follow. This cohesion is crucial to the success of the ERP implementation.
2. Draw up a complete set of specifications
Once the objectives have been clearly set, it is urgent to put them down on paper. By formalizing the ERP project in a set of specifications, the company has a material support to consult in case of doubt, and establishes the legitimacy of the project thus validated upstream in writing.
The specifications include the company’s needs and objectives, and specify
- The internal processes specific to the activity
- The specificities of the business and the resulting constraints
By refining the project as much as possible in the specifications, you can make the choice of ERP easier when comparing several solutions.
3. Set up a dedicated team to manage the ERP project
The success of an ERP project depends largely on the mobilization of competent human resources. The right number of people must be designated, the team must be strategically composed and the time it must devote to managing the ERP project must be determined.
- The number of people dedicated to the implementation of the software depends on the size of the company and the level of complexity of the tool.
- The team composition must include an internally appointed project manager. It is preferable to choose a person with a technical function but whose position offers a transversal vision of the company and its activities. A representative sample of key users of the software will accompany him/her. In any case, the project manager remains the sole reference for ERP users: his or her legitimacy must be indisputable.
- The management of the ERP project must be monitored by the management, which intervenes from time to time during planning meetings or when strategic decisions are made.