The World Management (TWM) believes that purchasing a software solution is not just about selecting software; it is about having the right blends of tools to assist you in the planning and implementation of the system. 

ERP implementation must involve all employees from top management to operational level, and unconditionally and completely sell them on the concept of ERP for it to be a success. To reap the benefits of ERP, it must first develop a plan for success.

A successful ERP implementation means involving, supervising and providing guidance to all involved with the system. Without properly planning, action and supervision, an ERP implementation will end in less than an ideal situation. 

A company needs to let everyone from top management to clerical staff know the goals and objective and stick to them. With a well-defined expectation, budget and time schedule; everyone will be able to focus on their role and responsibility. A rush project without proper planning and discussion will see hiccups along the implementation phases.

Analyst firm Gartner estimates that 55% to 75% of all ERP projects fail to meet their objectives. Whether your ERP project is a upgrade that takes a week or two to a new implementation that takes up to a few months, we have to do everything possible to ensure success.  

The implementation of ERP is a complicated process, consists of multiple steps and tasks. TWM uses and follows the SAP Business One Accelerated Implementation Program documentation provided by SAP. 

 The methodology has been designed to serve as a guideline for the system setup and implementation process. It includes a set of templates, checklists, tools, and other supporting information that divide the implementation process into five phases.

Each phase breaks down the relevant tasks that have to be completed, and suggests roles, responsibilities, and time frames required to successfully complete the implementation.  All documents can be modified to fit the specific requirements. 

 

The 5 phases for a successful ERP Implementation: -

  1. Project Preparation

  2. Business Blueprint

  3. Project Realization

  4. Final Preparation

  5. Go-Live and Support

 

 ERP IMPLEMENTATION

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  1. Project Preparation

 

Purpose:-

  • Provide initial planning and preparation for the ERP implementation project.

 Once a client has decided has decided on the ERP that fits them, they have to sit down with their team members for a detail meeting. The team usually will consist of project managers, a steering committee and core users.

 Before beginning any ERP project, it is very important to ensure that the entire organization understands the reasons and objective for the implementation. If key management leaders do not clearly support the need for change, the deliverable    and commitment from staff might be affected. If project members and end users do not understand the objectives, we will see more resistance to change and that will increase the chance of failure.

Best practices:

  • Ensure that expectations can be met
  • Include sales team in kick-off meeting to avoid misunderstandings
  • Identify project team members and make sure all team members attend kick-off
  • Confirm hardware, software and resource availability and get software delivery receipt
  • Demonstrate the business processes that are important for the customer’s business and address any questions at the kick-off meeting
  • Communicate time and resource requirements at kick-off meeting
  • Document the kick-off meeting minutes and action plans
  • Complete Service Level Agreement
  •  Get sign-off for phase completion

 

Milestones

  • Identify and plan the primary focus areas that need to be considered including technical issues as well as project management topics.
  • Deliver the ERP software.
  • Complete a preliminary installation of a sandbox or test system.

Templates:-

  • Handover from Sales Checklist ( This checklist provides the basic for understanding and documentation of transfer from sales team to project team)
  • Project Phase Analysis and Risk (This checklist provides a basis for analysing and evaluating risks in detail.)
  • Pre-Sales Business Analysis (This document can be used during the pre-sales phase to record information about a customer’s key processes. The information can be used to prepare demonstrations during the pre-sales phase.)
  • Kick-Off Meeting Presentation Template
  • Software Delivery Receipt
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Service Level Agreement
  • Project Plan
  • Project Phase Signoff

   

  1. Business Blueprint

 

Purpose:-

  • Achieve a common understanding of how the customer intends to run  the ERP to support their business.

 In this phase the team does the GAP analysis to understand the pain points, current processes, needs and requirement. Consultants will then base on the needs to draft the blueprint. Once user has signed off the blue print, consultant will start creating the database.

 

Best Practices:

  • Plan the workshops according to business area or by expertise
  • Demonstrate how business requirements can be addressed
  • Use client’s chart-of-accounts as this will significantly reduce data migration effort
  • Confirm data migration options with customer
  • Document detailed business process and technical requirements
  • Stress that even seemingly small changes to scope and/or requirements can impact cost, resources, and timeline

Milestones:-

  • Conduct one or more requirements gathering workshops to define and analyse business processes and individual functional requirements.
  • Refine the original project goals and objectives and revise the overall project schedule, if necessary.
  • Create a Business Blueprint to serve as a technical and functional guide during the subsequent phases of the ERP implementation project.

 

Templates :-

  • Blueprint Configuration
  • Blueprint Process Questions
  • Business Process Master List 
  •  BPML User Guide
  • Data Migration Assessment Data
  • Migration Guide Training Guide
  • Project Phase Analysis and Risk Issue
  • Change Log Change Request Form
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Project Plan
  • Project Phase Signoff

  

  1. Project Realization

Purpose:- 

  • Implement all the business process and technical requirements defined during the previous phases and documented in the Business Blueprint.

 In the realization step, consultants will configure the database according to the blue print.

During the user acceptance test (UAT), the testing will be based on some key processes to ensure that the system is setup according.  UAT will help the company ensure that there will be no major issue when the ERP is on the Go-live stage.

  

Best Practices:

  • Communicate that legacy data quality and integrity is the customer’s responsibility
  • Conduct system validation/acceptance testing in a designated conference room
  • Test team should log into the system and simulate relevant business processes from start to finish
  • Document changes required or desired after validation and testing
  • Log and track all issues from system testing
  • Print a copy of all output documents and financial statements for customer sign off
  • Train key users before system testing starts
  • Minimize changes - testing and training are significantly affected. Use change request forms to document changes
  •  Schedule cut-over date with customer

Milestones:- 

  • Validate and update configuration, as well as demonstrate processes.
  • Encourage our customer to updates their work instructions (business process procedures: BPP).
  • Perform unit and integration tests.

 

Templates:- 

  • Blueprint Configuration
  • Business Process Master List  
  • BPML User Guide
  • Training Plan
  • Training Guide
  • Test Strategy Guide
  • Test Case Template
  • Data Migration Guide Data
  • Migration Object List
  • Project Phase Analysis and Risk Issue
  • Change Log Change Request Form
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Project Plan
  • Project Phase Signoff 

 

  

  1. Final Preparation

Purpose:- 

  • Prepare the ERP system and the client organization for production go-live.

Training is an important part of any ERP implementation project. The ERP implementation will fail if staff do not know how to use it. Employees must be trained on using the system according to their business process. Basic navigation as well as backup are also key training areas.

  Training is a key success factor for an implementation project. In particular, there are three points during the project when customer training should occur:

 

Audience

Type of Training

When Required

Estimated Time

Project team

Awareness/demo

Business Blueprint phase - before the business blueprint workshops

2-3 hours

Key users (business process owners)

Hands-on navigation and document entry

Project Realization phase – before start of system testing

1-2 hours per business process

End users and administrators (in production)

Detailed hands-on use of all functions required for role

Final Preparation phase – before cutover to production

Varies by process  

 

This document provides guidelines to help you successfully plan, develop and deliver the required training during an implementation project.

Key users are responsible for validating a business process. Therefore they need to navigate the SAP Business One system, and add and retrieve documents for a business process.

When key users receive hands-on training, they build confidence in the new system. This helps them develop a sense of ownership well before the system goes live.

It  is    recommended that test scripts are created for system validation testing. Test scripts enforce the completeness of the testing process and serve as project documentation for sign off.   Partner and customer have to come together define the success criteria for final user acceptance.

 

Best Practices:

  • Communicate training and cut-over plan with an official announcement
  • Allow each user to work on the ERP system individually during training

Milestones:-

  • Complete user and administrator training.
  • Final fine-tuning of the ERP system. Complete final system tests.
  • Make necessary adjustments to resolve all remaining critical open issues.
  • Complete cut-over activities.

 

Templates:-

  • Data Migration Guide
  • Training Guide
  • Project Phase Analysis and Risk Issue
  • Change Log Change Request Form
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Service Level Agreement
  • Project Plan
  • Project Phase Signoff

  

 

  1. Go-Live and Support

Purpose:- 

  • To move from a project-oriented, pre-production environment to live production operation.

The real test of the parties involved in the ERP Implementation comes during the Go Live period. During these times, the true capability of the ERP can be known.

At the Go-Live stage, all the master data and opening balances are already uploaded into the ERP system and users are ready to run live.   Users will encounter teething issue during those first few days after go-live. Therefore, a consultant will have to be on-site to give user the support and solve issues immediately.

The objective of implementing a ERP system is to increase staff productivity and make the work of the employees easier.

Best Practices:

  • Document and resolve critical issues
  • Conduct handover of administration and support responsibilities from implementation to support organization
  • Provide project documentation to support organization
  • Involve the partner account manager and customer steering committee (if applicable) in project closing
  • Schedule “Review and Optimization Conference” meeting

 

Milestones:- 

  • Set up production support.
  • Monitor system transactions.
  • Optimize overall system performance.

 

Templates:-

  • Project Phase Analysis and Risk Issue
  • Change Log
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Project Plan
  • Project Phase Signoff