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Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Align business and IT to successfully deliver on your ERP initiative

  • Organizations often do not know where to start with an ERP project.
  • They focus on tactically selecting and implementing the technology.
  • ERP projects are routinely reported as going over budget, over schedule, and they fail to realize any benefits.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • An ERP strategy is an ongoing communication tool for the business.
  • Accountability for ERP success is shared between IT and the business.
  • An actionable roadmap provides a clear path to benefits realization.

Impact and Result

  • Align the ERP strategy and roadmap with business priorities, securing buy-in from the business for the program.
  • Identification of gaps, needs, and opportunities in relation to business processes; ensuring the most critical areas are addressed.
  • Assess alternatives for the critical path(s) most relevant to your organization’s direction.
Develop a roadmap that promotes structure and accountability by categorizing and prioritizing work initiatives, and by identifying resources, timelines, and investment.

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap Research & Tools

1. Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap – A comprehensive guide to align business and IT on what the organization needs from their ERP.

A business-led, top-management-supported initiative partnered with IT has the greatest chance of success.

This blueprint provides business and IT the methodology for getting the right level of detail for the business processes that the ERP supports thus avoiding getting lost in the details.

Build a successful ERP Strategy and roadmap by:

  • Aligning and prioritizing key business and technology drivers.
  • Clearly defining what is in and out of scope for the project.
  • Getting a clear picture of how the business process and underlying applications support the business strategic priorities.
  • Pulling it all together into an actionable roadmap.

Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.1/10


Overall Impact

$142,849


Average $ Saved

22


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Rush Street Gaming

Workshop

6/10

$31,499

10

Braun Intertec Corporation

Workshop

10/10

$125K

20

Stratus

Workshop

10/10

$125K

35

London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care, London

Guided Implementation

8/10

$1,800

3

Braun Intertec Corporation

Guided Implementation

10/10

$619K

20

Seplat Energy Plc

Guided Implementation

9/10

$125K

50

Stratus

Guided Implementation

10/10

$31,499

20

The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority

Workshop

10/10

$80,000

23

Hunt Consolidated, Inc.

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

20

City of Savannah

Workshop

10/10

$125K

55

Morrison Hershfield Group Inc.

Workshop

8/10

$100K

10

Loomis AB

Guided Implementation

10/10

$30,999

2

Dart Enterprises Ltd.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$30,999

20

LGM Financial Services

Workshop

9/10

$50,000

20

Caribbean Public Health Agency

Guided Implementation

10/10

$12,399

20

City of Fort Myers, FL

Guided Implementation

10/10

$123K

50

Honda de Mexico

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

10

The Ottawa Hospital

Workshop

10/10

$95,000

50

Seaboard Corporation

Guided Implementation

9/10

$2,479

10

Sport Maska Inc

Guided Implementation

6/10

$25,000

32

Welch's Foods Inc

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

N/A

Barry-Wehmiller

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Two Rivers Financial Group

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

BearingPoint

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Inghams

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

Forest City Enterprises, Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$63,667

60

Inline Plastics

Guided Implementation

10/10

$2,479

10

Ariens Company

Guided Implementation

8/10

$11,460

5

City of Cocoa

Workshop

9/10

N/A

32

Department of Health and Human Services*

Guided Implementation

9/10

$70,034

20


Workshop: Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Introduction to ERP

The Purpose

To build understanding and alignment between business and IT on what an ERP is and the goals for the project

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Clear understanding of how the ERP supports the organizational goals
  • What business processes the ERP will be supporting
  • An initial understanding of the effort involved

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Introduction to ERP

1.2

Background

1.3

Expectations and goals

1.4

Align business strategy

1.5

ERP vision and guiding principles

1.6

ERP strategy model

  • ERP strategy model
1.7

ERP operating model

  • ERP Operating model

Module 2: Build the ERP operation model

The Purpose

Generate an understanding of the business processes, challenges, and application portfolio currently supporting the organization.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • An understanding of the application portfolio supporting the business
  • Detailed understanding of the business operating processes and pain points

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Build application portfolio

  • Application portfolio
2.2

Map the level 1 ERP processes including identifying stakeholders, pain points, and key success indicators

  • Mega-processes with level 1 process lists
2.3

Discuss process and technology maturity for each level 1 process

Module 3: Project set up

The Purpose

A project of this size has multiple stakeholders and may have competing priorities. This section maps those stakeholders and identifies their possible conflicting priorities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A prioritized list of ERP mega-processes based on process rigor and strategic importance
  • An understanding of stakeholders and competing priorities
  • Initial compilation of the risks the organization will face with the project to begin early mitigation

Activities

Outputs

3.1

ERP process prioritization

  • Prioritized ERP operating model
3.2

Stakeholder mapping

  • Stakeholder map.
3.3

Competing priorities review

  • Competing priorities list.
3.4

Initial risk register compilation

  • Initial risk register.

Module 4: Roadmap and presentation review

The Purpose

Select a future state and build the initial roadmap to set expectations and accountabilities.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Identification of the future state
  • Initial roadmap with expectations on accountability and timelines

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Discuss future state options

  • Future state options
4.2

Build initial roadmap

  • Initiative roadmap
4.3

Review of final deliverable

  • Draft final deliverable

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Align business and IT to successfully deliver on your ERP initiative

Table of Contents

Analyst Perspective

Phase 3: Plan Your Project

Executive Summary

Step 3.1: Stakeholders, risk, and value

Phase 1: Build Alignment and Scope

Step 3.2: Project set up

Step 1.1: Aligning Business and IT

Phase 4: Next Steps

Step 1.2: Scope and Priorities

Step 4.1: Build your roadmap

Phase 2: Define Your ERP

Step 4.2: Wrap up and present

Step 2.1: ERP business model

Summary of Accomplishment

Step 2.2: ERP processes and supporting applications

Research Contributors

Step 2.3: Process pains, opportunities, and maturity

Related Info-Tech Research

Bibliography

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Align business and IT to successfully deliver on your ERP initiative

EXECUTIVE BRIEF

Analyst Perspective

A foundational ERP strategy is critical to decision making.

Photo of Robert Fayle, Research Director, Enterprise Applications, Info-Tech Research Group.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is a core tool that the business leverages to accomplish its goals. An ERP that is doing its job well is invisible to the business. The challenges come when the tool is no longer invisible. It has become a source of friction in the functioning of the business

ERP systems are expensive, their benefits are difficult to quantify, and they often suffer from poor user satisfaction. Post-implementation, technology evolves, organizational goals change, and the health of the system is not monitored. This is complicated in today’s digital landscape with multiple integration points, siloed data, and competing priorities.

Too often organizations jump into selecting replacement systems without understanding the needs of the organization. Alignment between business and IT is just one part of the overall strategy. Identifying key pain points and opportunities, assessed in the light of organizational strategy, will provide a strong foundation to the transformation of the ERP system.

Robert Fayle
Research Director, Enterprise Applications
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Organizations often do not know where to start with an ERP project. They focus on tactically selecting and implementing the technology but ignore the strategic foundation that sets the ERP system up for success. ERP projects are routinely reported as going over budget, over schedule, and they fail to realize any benefits.

Common Obstacles

ERP projects impact the entire organization – they are not limited to just financial and operating metrics. The disruption is felt during both implementation and in the production environment.

Missteps early on can cost time, financial resources, and careers. Roughly 55% of ERP projects reported being over budget, and two-thirds of organizations implementing ERP realized less than half of their anticipated benefits.

Info-Tech’s Approach

Obtain organizational buy-in and secure top management support. Set clear expectations, guiding principles, and critical success factors.

Build an ERP operating model/business model that identifies process boundaries, scope, and prioritizes requirements. Assess stakeholder involvement, change impact, risks, and opportunities.

Understand the alternatives your organization can choose for the future state of ERP. Develop an actionable roadmap and meaningful KPIs that directly align with your strategic goals.

Info-Tech Insight

Accountability for ERP success is shared between IT and the business. There is no single owner of an ERP. A unified approach to building your strategy promotes an integrated roadmap so all stakeholders have clear direction on the future state.

Insight summary

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems facilitate the flow of information across business units. It allows for the seamless integration of systems and creates a holistic view of the enterprise to support decision making.

In many organizations, the ERP system is considered the lifeblood of the enterprise. Problems with this key operational system will have a dramatic impact on the ability of the enterprise to survive and grow.

A measured and strategic approach to change will help mitigate many of the risks associated with ERP projects, which will avoid the chances of these changes becoming the dreaded “career killers.”

A business led, top management supported initiative partnered with IT has the greatest chance of success.

  • A properly scoped ERP project reduces churn and provides all parts of the business with clarity.
  • This blueprint provides the business and IT the methodology to get the right level of detail for the business processes that the ERP supports so you can avoid getting lost in the details.
  • Build a successful ERP Strategy and roadmap by:
    • Aligning and prioritizing key business and technology drivers.
    • Clearly defining what is in and out of scope for the project.
    • Providing a clear picture of how the business process and underlying applications support the business strategic priorities.
    • Pulling it all together into an actionable roadmap.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

What is ERP?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems facilitate the flow of information across business units. They allow for the seamless integration of systems and create a holistic view of the enterprise to support decision making.

In many organizations, the ERP system is considered the lifeblood of the enterprise. Problems with this key operational system will have a dramatic impact on the ability of the enterprise to survive and grow.

An ERP system:

  • Automates processes, reducing the amount of manual, routine work.
  • Integrates with core modules, eliminating the fragmentation of systems.
  • Centralizes information for reporting from multiple parts of the value chain to a single point.

A diagram visualizing the many aspects of ERP and the categories they fall under. Highlighted as 'Supply Chain Management' are 'Supply Chain: Procure to Pay' and 'Distribution: Forecast to Delivery'. Highlighted as 'Customer Relationship Management' are 'Sales: Quote to Cash', 'CRM: Market to Order', and 'Customer Service: Issue to Resolution'.

ERP use cases:

  • Product-Centric
    Suitable for organizations that manufacture, assemble, distribute, or manage material goods.
  • Service-Centric
    Suitable for organizations that provide and manage field services and/or professional services.

ERP by the numbers

50-70%
Statistical analysis of ERP projects indicates rates of failure vary from 50 to 70%. Taking the low end of those analyst reports, one in two ERP projects is considered a failure. (Source: Saxena and Mcdonagh)

85%
Companies that apply the principles of behavioral economics outperform their peers by 85% in sales growth and more than 25% in gross margin. (Source: Gallup)

40%
Nearly 40% of companies said functionality was the key driver for the adoption of a new ERP. (Source: Gheorghiu)

ERP dissatisfaction

Drivers of Dissatisfaction
Business
  • Misaligned objectives
  • Product fit
  • Changing priorities
  • Lack of metrics
Data
  • Access to data
  • Data hygiene
  • Data literacy
  • One view of the customer
People and teams
  • User adoption
  • Lack of IT support
  • Training (use of data and system)
  • Vendor relations
Technology
  • Systems integration
  • Multi-channel complexity
  • Capability shortfall
  • Lack of product support

Finance, IT, Sales, and other users of the ERP system can only optimize ERP with the full support of each other. The cooperation of the departments is crucial when trying to improve ERP technology capabilities and customer interaction.

Info-Tech Insight

While technology is the key enabler of building strong customer experiences, there are many other drivers of dissatisfaction. IT must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the business to develop a technology framework for ERP.

Info-Tech’s methodology for developing a foundational ERP strategy and roadmap

1. Build alignment and scope 2. Define your ERP 3. Plan your project 4. Next Steps
Phase Steps
  1. Aligning business and IT
  2. Scope and priorities
  1. ERP Business Model
  2. ERP processes and supporting applications
  3. Process pains, opportunities & maturity
  1. Stakeholders, risk & value
  2. Project set up
  1. Build your roadmap
  2. Wrap up and present
Phase Outcomes Discuss organizational goals and how to advance those using the ERP system. Establish the scope of the project and ensure that business and IT are aligned on project priorities. Build the ERP business model then move on to the top level (mega) processes and an initial list of the sub-processes. Generate a list of applications that support the identified processes. Conclude with a complete view of the mega-processes and their sub-processes. Map out your stakeholders to evaluate their impact on the project, build an initial risk register and discuss group alignment. Conclude the phase by setting the initial core project team and their accountabilities to the project. Review the different options to solve the identified pain points then build out a roadmap of how to get to that solution. Build a communication plan as part of organizational change management, which includes the stakeholder presentation.

Blueprint deliverables

Each step of this blueprint is accompanied by supporting deliverables to help you accomplish your goals:

Sample of the Key Deliverable 'ERP Strategy Report'.

ERP Strategy Report

Complete an assessment of processes, prioritization, and pain points, and create an initiative roadmap.

Samples of blueprint deliverables related to 'ERP Strategy Report'.

ERP Business Model
Align your business and technology goals and objectives in the current environment.
Sample of the 'ERP Business Model' blueprint deliverable.
ERP Operating Model
Identify and prioritize your ERP top-level processes.
Sample of the 'ERP Operating Model' blueprint deliverable.
ERP Process Prioritization
Assess ERP processes against the axes of rigor and strategic importance.
Sample of the 'ERP Process Prioritization' blueprint deliverable.
ERP Strategy Roadmap
A data-driven roadmap of how to address the ERP pain points and opportunities.
Sample of the 'ERP Strategy Roadmap' blueprint deliverable.

Executive Brief Case Study

INDUSTRY: Aerospace
SOURCE: Panorama, 2021

Aerospace organization assesses ERP future state from opportunities, needs, and pain points

Challenge

Several issues plagued the aerospace and defense organization. Many of the processes were ad hoc and did not use the system in place, often relying on Excel. The organization had a very large pain point stemming from its lack of business process standardization and oversight. The biggest gap, however, was from the under-utilization of the ERP software.

Solution

By assessing the usage of the system by employees and identifying key workarounds, the gaps quickly became apparent. After assessing the organization’s current state and generating recommendations from the gaps, it realized the steps needed to achieve its desired future state. The analysis of the pain points generated various needs and opportunities that allowed the organization to present and discuss its key findings with executive leadership to set milestones for the project.

Results

The overall assessment led the organization to the conclusion that in order to achieve its desired future state and maximize ROI from its ERP, the organization must address the internal issues prior to implementing the upgraded software.

Info-Tech offers various levels of support to best suit your needs

DIY Toolkit

Guided Implementation

Workshop

Consulting

"Our team has already made this critical project a priority, and we have the time and capability, but some guidance along the way would be helpful." "Our team knows that we need to fix a process, but we need assistance to determine where to focus. Some check-ins along the way would help keep us on track." "We need to hit the ground running and get this project kicked off immediately. Our team has the ability to take this over once we get a framework and strategy in place." "Our team does not have the time or the knowledge to take this project on. We need assistance through the entirety of this project."

Diagnostics and consistent frameworks used throughout all four options

Guided Implementation

What does a typical GI on this topic look like?

A Guided Implementation (GI) is a series of calls with an Info-Tech analyst to help implement our best practices in your organization.

A typical GI is between eight to twelve calls over the course of four to six months.

Phase 1

  • Call #1: Scoping call to understand the current situation.
  • Call #2: Establish business & IT alignment and project scope.

Phase 2

  • Call #3: Discuss the ERP Strategy business model and mega-processes.
  • Call #4: Begin the drill down on the level 1 processes.

Phase 3

  • Call #5: Establish the stakeholder map and project risks.
  • Call #6: Discuss project setup including stakeholder commitment and accountability.

Phase 4

  • Call #7: Discuss resolution paths and build initial roadmap.
  • Call #8: Summarize results and plan next steps.

Workshop Overview

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com1-888-670-8889

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Activities
Introduction to ERP

1.1 Introduction to ERP

1.2 Background

1.3 Expectations and goals

1.4 Align business strategy

1.5 ERP vision and guiding principles

1.6 ERP strategy model

1.7 ERP operating model

Build the ERP operating model

2.1 Build application portfolio

2.2 Map the level 1 ERP processes including identifying stakeholders, pain points, and key success indicators

2.3 Discuss process and technology maturity for each level 1 process

Project set up

3.1 ERP process prioritization

3.2 Stakeholder mapping

3.3 Competing priorities review

3.4 Initial risk register compilation

3.5 Workshop retrospective

Roadmap and presentation review

4.1 Discuss future state options

4.2 Build initial roadmap

4.3 Review of final deliverable

Next Steps and wrap-up (offsite)

5.1 Complete in-progress deliverables from previous four days

5.2 Set up review time for workshop deliverables and to discuss next steps

Deliverables
  1. ERP strategy model
  2. ERP operating model
  1. Application portfolio
  2. Mega-processes with level 1 process lists
  1. Prioritized ERP operating model
  2. Stakeholder map
  3. Competing priorities list
  4. Initial risk register
  1. Future state options
  2. Initiative roadmap
  3. Draft final deliverable
  1. Completed ERP strategy template
  2. ERP strategy roadmap

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Phase 1

Build alignment and scope

Phase 1

  • 1.1 Aligning business and IT
  • 1.2 Scope and priorities

Phase 2

  • 2.1 ERP Business Model
  • 2.2 ERP processes and supporting applications
  • 2.3 Process pains, opportunities & maturity

Phase 3

  • 3.1 Stakeholders, risk & value
  • 3.2 Project set up

Phase 4

  • 4.1 Build your roadmap
  • 4.2 Wrap up and present

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

Build a common language to ensure clear understanding of the organizational needs. Define a vision and guiding principles to aid in decision making and enumerate how the ERP supports achievement of the organizational goals. Define the initial scope of the ERP project. This includes the discussion of what is not in scope.

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Create a compelling case that addresses strategic business objectives

When someone at the organization asks you WHY, you need to deliver a compelling case. The ERP project will receive pushback, doubt, and resistance; if you can’t answer the question WHY, you will be left back-peddling.

When faced with a challenge, prepare for the WHY.

  • Why do we need this?
  • Why are we spending all this money?
  • Why are we bothering?
  • Why is this important?
  • Why did we do it this way?
  • Why did we choose this vendor?

Most organizations can answer “What?”
Some organizations can answer “How?”
Very few organizations have an answer for “Why?”

Each stage of the project will be difficult and present its own unique challenges and failure points. Re-evaluate if you lose sight of WHY at any stage in the project.

Step 1.1

Aligning business and IT

Activities
  • 1.1.1 Build a glossary
  • 1.1.2 ERP Vision and guiding principles
  • 1.1.3 Corporate goals and ERP benefits

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Building a common language to ensure a clear understanding of the organization’s needs.
  • Creating a definition of your vision and identifying the guiding principles to aid in decision making.
  • Defining how the ERP supports achievement of the organizational goals.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

Business and IT have a shared understanding of how the ERP supports the organizational goals.

Are we all talking about the same thing?

Every group has their own understanding of the ERP system, and they may use the same words to describe different things. For example, is there a difference between procurement of office supplies and procurement of parts to assemble an item for sale? And if they are different, do your terms differ (e.g., procurement versus purchasing)?

Term(s) Definition
HRMS, HRIS, HCM Human Resource Management System, Human Resource Information System, Human Capital Management. These represent four capabilities of HR: core HR, talent management, workforce management, and strategic HR.
Finance Finance includes the core functionalities of GL, AR, and AP. It also covers such items as treasury, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), tax management, expenses, and asset management.
Supply Chain The processes and networks required to produce and distribute a product or service. This encompasses both the organization and the suppliers.
Procurement Procurement is about getting the right products from the right suppliers in a timely fashion. Related to procurement is vendor contract management.
Distribution The process of getting the things we create to our customers.
CRM Customer Relationship Management, the software used to maintain records of our sales and non-sales contact with our customers.
Sales The process of identifying customers, providing quotes, and converting those quotes to sales orders to be invoiced.
Customer Service This is the process of supporting customers with challenges and non-sales questions related to the delivery of our products/services.
Field Service The group that provides maintenance services to our customers.

Activity 1.1.1 Build a glossary

1 hour
  1. As a group, discuss the organization’s functional areas, business capabilities, value streams, and business processes.
  2. Ask each of the participants if there are terms or “jargon” that they hear used that they may be unclear on or know that others may not be aware of. Record these items in the table along with a description.
    • Acronyms are particularly important to document. These are often bandied about without explanation. For example, people outside of finance may not understand that FP&A is short for Financial Planning and Analysis.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'ERP Strategy Report Template: Glossary'.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 1.1.1 Working slide

Example/working slide for your glossary. Consider this a living document and keep it up to date.

Term(s) Definition
HRMS, HRIS, HCM Human Resource Management System, Human Resource Information System, Human Capital Management. These represent four capabilities of HR: core HR, talent management, workforce management, and strategic HR.
Finance Finance includes the core functionalities of GL, AR, and AP. It also covers such items as treasury, financial planning and analysis (FP&A), tax management, expenses, and asset management.
Supply Chain The processes and networks required to produce and distribute a product or service. This encompasses both the organization and the suppliers.
Procurement Procurement is about getting the right products from the right suppliers in a timely fashion. Related to procurement is vendor contract management.
Distribution The process of getting the things we create to our customers.
CRM Customer Relationship Management, the software used to maintain records of our sales and non-sales contact with our customers.
Sales The process of identifying customers, providing quotes, and converting those quotes to sales orders to be invoiced.
Customer Service This is the process of supporting customers with challenges and non-sales questions related to the delivery of our products/services.
Field Service The group that provides maintenance services to our customers.

Vision and Guiding Principles

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Guiding principles are high-level rules of engagement that help to align stakeholders from the outset. Determine guiding principles to shape the scope and ensure stakeholders have the same vision.

Creating Guiding Principles

Guiding principles should be constructed as full sentences. These statements should be able to guide decisions.

EXAMPLES

  • [Organization] is implementing an ERP system to streamline processes and reduce redundancies, saving time and money.
  • [Organization] is implementing an ERP to integrate disparate systems and rationalize the application portfolio.
  • [Organization] is aiming at taking advantage of best industry practices and strives to minimize the level of customization required in solution.

Questions to Ask

  1. What is a strong statement that will help guide decision making throughout the life of the ERP project?
  2. What are your overarching requirements for business processes?
  3. What do you ultimately want to achieve?
  4. What is a statement that will ensure all stakeholders are on the same page for the project?

Activity 1.1.2 – ERP Vision and Project Guiding Principles

1 hour

  1. As a group, discuss whether you want to create a separate ERP vision statement or re-state your corporate vision and/or goals.
    • An ERP vision statement will provide project-guiding principles, encompass the ERP objectives, and give a rationale for the project.
    • Using the corporate vision/goals will remind the business and IT that the project is to find an ERP solution that supports and enhances the organizational objectives.
  2. Review each of the sample guiding principles provided and ask the following questions:
    1. Do we agree with the statement?
    2. Is this statement framed in the language we used internally? Does everyone agree on the meaning of the statement?
    3. Will this statement help guide our decision-making process?

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'ERP Strategy Report Template: Guiding Principles.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 1.1.2 – ERP Vision and Project Guiding Principles

We, [Organization], will select and implement an integrated software suite that enhances the growth and profitability of the organization through streamlined global business processes, real time data-driven decisions, increased employee productivity, and IT investment protection.

  • Support Business Agility: A flexible and adaptable integrated business system providing a seamless user experience.
  • Utilize ERP best practices: Do not recreate or replicate what we have today, focus on modernization. Exercise customization governance by focusing on those customizations that are strategically differentiating.
  • Automate: Take manual work out where we can, empowering staff and improving productivity through automation and process efficiencies.
  • Stay focused: Focus on scope around core business capabilities. Maintain scope control. Prioritize demand in line with the strategy.
  • Strive for “One Source of Truth”: Unify data model and integrate processes where possible. Assess integration needs carefully.

Align the ERP strategy with the corporate strategy

Corporate Strategy Unified Strategy ERP Strategy
  • Conveys the current state of the organization and the path it wants to take.
  • Identifies future goals and business aspirations.
  • Communicates the initiatives that are critical for getting the organization from its current state to the future state.
  • ERP optimization can be and should be linked, with metrics, to the corporate strategy and ultimate business objectives.
  • Communicates the organization’s budget and spending on ERP.
  • Identifies IT initiatives that will support the business and key ERP objectives.
  • Outlines staffing and resourcing for ERP initiatives.

Info-Tech Insight

ERP projects are more successful when the management team understands the strategic importance and the criticality of alignment. Time needs to be spent upfront aligning business strategies with ERP capabilities. Effective alignment between IT and the business should happen daily. Alignment doesn’t just to occur at the executive level alone, but at each level of the organization.

1.1.3 – Corporate goals and ERP benefits

1-2 hours

  1. Discuss the business objectives. Identify two or three objectives that are a priority for this year.
  2. Produce several ways a new ERP system will meet each objective.
  3. Think about the modules and ERP functions that will help you realize these benefits.

Cost Reduction

  • Decrease Total Cost: Reduce total costs by five percent by January 2022.
  • Decrease Specific Costs: Reduce costs of “x” business unit by ten percent by Jan. next year.

ERP Benefits

  • Reduce headcount
  • Reallocate workers
  • Reduce overtime
  • Increased compliance
  • Streamlined audit process
  • Less rework due to decrease in errors

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 1.1.3 – Corporate goals and ERP benefits

Corporate Strategy ERP Benefits
End customer visibility (consumer experience)
  • Help OEM’s target customers
  • Keep customer information up-to-date, including contact choices
  • [Product A] process support improvements
  • Ability to survey and track responses
  • Track and improve renewals
  • Service support – improve cycle times for claims, payment processing, and submission quality
Social responsibility
  • Reduce paper internally and externally
  • Facilitating tracking and reporting of EFT
  • One location for all documents
New business development
  • Track all contacts
  • Measure where in process the contact is
  • Measure impact of promotions
Employee experience
  • Improve integration of systems reducing manual processes through automation
  • Better tracking of sales for employee comp
  • Ability to survey employees

Step 1.2

Scope and priorities

Activities
  • 1.2.1 Project scope
  • 1.2.2 Competing priorities

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Define the initial scope of the ERP project. This includes the discussion of what is not in scope. For example, a stand-alone warehouse management system may be out of scope while an existing HRMS could be in scope.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

A project scope statement and a prioritized list of projects that may compete for organizational resources.

Understand the importance of setting expectations with a scope statement

Be sure to understand what is in scope for an ERP strategy project. Prevent too wide of a scope to avoid scope creep – for example, we aren’t tackling MMS or BI under ERP.

A diamond shape with three layers. Inside is 'In Scope', middle is 'Scope Creep', and outside is 'Out of Scope'.

Establishing the parameters of the project in a scope statement helps define expectations and provides a baseline for resource allocation and planning. Future decisions about the strategic direction of ERP will be based on the scope statement.

Well-executed requirements gathering will help you avoid expanding project parameters, drawing on your resources, and contributing to cost overruns and project delays. Avoid scope creep by gathering high-level requirements that lead to the selection of category-level application solutions (e.g. HRIS, CRM, PLM etc.) rather than granular requirements that would lead to vendor application selection (e.g. SAP, Microsoft, Oracle, etc.).

Out-of-scope items should also be defined to alleviate ambiguity, reduce assumptions, and further clarify expectations for stakeholders. Out-of-scope items can be placed in a backlog for later consideration.

In Scope Out of Scope
Strategy High-level ERP requirements, strategic direction
Software selection Vendor application selection, Granular system requirements

Activity 1.2.1 – Define scope

1 hour

  1. Formulate a scope statement. Decide which people, processes, and functions the ERP strategy will address. Generally, the aim of this project is to develop strategic requirements for the ERP application portfolio – not to select individual vendors.
  2. To assist in forming your scope statement, answer the following questions:
    • What are the major coverage points?
    • Who will be using the systems?
    • How will different users interact with the systems?
    • What are the objectives that need to be addressed?
    • Where do we start?
    • Where do we draw the line?

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'ERP Strategy Report Template: Scope Statements'.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 1.2.1 – Define scope

Scope statements

The following systems are considered in scope for this project:

  • Finance
  • HRMS
  • CRM
  • Supply chain

The following systems are out of scope for this project:

  • PLM – product lifecycle management
  • Project management
  • Contract management

The following systems are in scope, in that they must integrate into the new system. They will not change.

  • Payroll processing
  • Bank accounts
  • EDI software

Know your competing priorities

Organizations typically have multiple projects on the table or in flight. Each of those projects requires resources and attention from business and/or the IT organization.

Don’t let poor prioritization hurt your ERP implementation.
BNP Paribas Fortis had multiple projects that were poorly prioritized resulting in the time to bring products to market to double over a three-year period. (Source: Neito-Rodriguez, 2016)

Project Timeline Priority notes Implications
Warehouse management system upgrade project Early 2022 implementation High Taking IT staff and warehouse team, testing by finance
Microsoft 365 October 2021-March 2022 High IT Staff, org impacted by change management
Electronic Records Management April 2022 – Feb 2023 High Legislative requirement, org impact due to record keeping
Web site upgrade Early fiscal 2023

Activity 1.2.2 – Competing priorities

1 hour

  1. As a group, discuss the projects that are currently in flight as well as any known projects including such things as territory expansion or new regulation compliance.
  2. For each project discuss and record the following items:
    • The project timeline. When does it start and how long is it expected to run?
    • How important is this project to the organization? A lot of high priority projects are going to require more attention from the staff involved.
    • What are the implications of this project?
      • What staff will be impacted? What business users will be impacted, and what is the IT involvement?
      • To what extent will the overall organization be impacted? Is it localized to a location or is it organization wide?
      • Can the project be deferred?

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'ERP Strategy Report Template: Priorities'.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 1.2.2 – Competing priorities

List all your known projects both current and proposed. Discuss the prioritization of those projects, whether they are more or less important than your ERP project.

Project Timeline Priority notes Implications
Warehouse management system upgrade project Early 2022 implementation High Taking IT staff and warehouse team, testing by finance
Microsoft 365 October 2021-March 2022 High IT Staff, org impacted by change management
Electronic Records Management April 2022 – Feb 2023 High Legislative requirement, org impact due to record keeping
Web site upgrade Early fiscal 2023 Medium
Point of Sale replacement Oct 2021– Mar 2022 Medium
ERP utilization and training on unused systems Friday, Sept 17 Medium Could impact multiple staff
Managed Security Service RFP This calendar year Medium
Mental Health Dashboard In research phase Low

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Phase 2

Define your ERP

Phase 1

  • 1.1 Aligning business and IT
  • 1.2 Scope and priorities

Phase 2

  • 2.1 ERP Business Model
  • 2.2 ERP processes and supporting applications
  • 2.3 Process pains, opportunities & maturity

Phase 3

  • 3.1 Stakeholders, risk & value
  • 3.2 Project set up

Phase 4

  • 4.1 Build your roadmap
  • 4.2 Wrap up and present

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Build the ERP business model then move on to the top level (mega) processes and an initial list of the sub-processes
  • Generate a list of applications that support the identified processes
  • Assign stakeholders, discuss pain points, opportunities, and key success indicators
  • Assign process and technology maturity to each stakeholder

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP applications support team

Step 2.1

ERP business model

Activities
  • 2.1.1 Environmental factors, technology drivers, and business needs
  • 2.1.2 Challenges, pain points, enablers, and organizational goals

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify ERP drivers and objectives
  • Explore ERP challenges and pain points
  • Discuss the ERP benefits and opportunities

This step involves the following participants:

  • ERP implementation team
  • Business stakeholders

Outcomes of this step

  • ERP business model

Explore environmental factors and technology drivers

  1. Identify business drivers that are contributing to the organization’s need for ERP.
  2. Understand how the company is running today and what the organization’s future will look like. Try to identify the purpose for becoming an integrated organization.
  3. Consider external considerations, organizational drivers, technology drivers, and key functional requirements
The ERP Business Model with 'Business Needs', 'Environmental Factors', and 'Technology Drivers' highlighted. At the center is 'ERP Strategy' with 'Barriers' above and 'Enablers' below. Surrounding and feeding into the center group are 'Business Needs', 'Environmental Factors', 'Technology Drivers', and 'Organizational Goals'.
External Considerations
  • Regulations
  • Elections
  • Availability of resources
  • Staff licensing and certifications
Organizational Drivers
  • Compliance
  • Scalability
  • Operational efficiency
  • Union agreements
  • Self service
  • Role appropriate dashboards and reports
  • Real time data access
    • Use of data in the system (no exports)
Technology Considerations
  • Data accuracy
  • Data quality
  • Better reporting
Functional Requirements
  • Information availability
  • Integration between systems
  • Secure data

Activity 2.1.1 – Explore environmental factors and technology drivers

1 hour

  1. Identify business drivers that are contributing to the organization’s need for ERP.
  2. Understand how the company is running today and what the organization’s future will look like. Try to identify the purpose for becoming an integrated organization. Use a whiteboard or flip charts and markers to capture key findings.
  3. Consider External Considerations, Organizational Drivers, Technology Drivers, and Key Functional Requirements.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the next slide, 'ERP Business Model', with an iconized ERP Business Model and a table highlighting 'Environmental Factors', 'Technology Drivers', and 'Business Needs'.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

ERP Business Model A iconized version of the ERP Business Model.

Environmental FactorsTechnology DriversBusiness Needs
  • Regulations
  • Elections
  • Availability of resources
  • Staff licensing and certifications
  • Document storage
  • Cloud security standards
  • Functionality based on deployment
  • Cloud-first based on above
  • Integration with external data suppliers
  • Integration with internal systems (Elite?)
  • Compliance
  • Scalability
  • Operational efficiency
  • Union agreements
  • Self service
  • Role appropriate dashboards and reports
  • Real time data access
  • Use of data in the system (no exports)
  • CapEx vs. OpEx

Discuss challenges, pain points, enablers and organizational goals

  1. Identify challenges with current systems and processes.
  2. Brainstorm potential barriers to successful ERP selection and implementation. Use a whiteboard and marker to capture key findings.
  3. Consider organizational goals along with barriers and enablers to ERP success.
The ERP Business Model with 'Organizational Goals', 'Enablers', and 'Barriers' highlighted. At the center is 'ERP Strategy' with 'Barriers' above and 'Enablers' below. Surrounding and feeding into the center group are 'Business Needs', 'Environmental Factors', 'Technology Drivers', and 'Organizational Goals'.
Functional Gaps
  • No online purchase order requisition
Technical Gaps
  • Inconsistent reporting – data quality concerns
Process Gaps
  • Duplication of data
  • Lack of system integration
Barriers to Success
  • Cultural mindset
  • Resistance to change
Business Benefits
  • Business-IT alignment
IT Benefits
  • Compliance
  • Scalability
Organizational Benefits
  • Data accuracy
  • Data quality
Enablers of Success
  • Change management
  • Alignment to strategic objectives

Activity 2.1.2 – Discuss challenges, pain points, enablers, and organizational goals

1 hour

  1. Identify challenges with the current systems and processes.
  2. Brainstorm potential barriers to successful ERP selection and implementation. Use a whiteboard or flip chart and markers to capture key findings.
  3. Consider functional gaps, technical gaps, process gaps, and barriers to ERP success.
  4. Identify the opportunities and benefits from an integrated system.
  5. Brainstorm potential enablers for successful ERP selection and implementation. Use a whiteboard and markers to capture key findings.
  6. Consider business benefits, IT benefits, organizational benefits, and enablers of success.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the next slide, 'ERP Business Model', with an iconized ERP Business Model and a table highlighting 'Organizational Goals', 'Enablers', and 'Barriers'.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

ERP Business Model A iconized version of the ERP Business Model.

Organizational Goals Enablers Barriers
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Integrity
  • One source of truth for data
  • One team
  • Customer service, external and internal
  • Cross-trained employees
  • Desire to focus on value-add activities
  • Collaborative
  • Top level executive support
  • Effective change management process
  • Organizational silos
  • Lack of formal process documentation
  • Funding availability
  • What goes first? Organizational priorities

Step 2.2

ERP processes and supporting applications

Activities
  • 2.2.1 ERP process inventory
  • 2.2.2 Application portfolio

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Identify the top-level (mega) processes and create an initial list of the sub-processes
  • Generate a list of applications that support the identified processes

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP applications support team

Outcomes of this step

  • A list of in scope business processes
  • A list of current applications and services supporting the business processes

Process Inventory

In business architecture, the primary view of an organization is known as a business capability map.

A business capability defines what a business does to enable value creation rather than how.

Business capabilities:

  • Represent stable business functions
  • Are unique and independent of each other
  • Will typically have a defined business outcome

A business capability map provides details that help the business architecture practitioner direct attention to a specific area of the business for further assessment.

A process map titled 'Business capability map (Level 0)' with many processes sectioned off into sections and subsections. The top-left section is 'Products and Services Development' with subsections 'Design'(6 processes) and 'Manufacturing'(3 processes). The top-middle section is 'Revenue Generation'(3 processes) and below that is 'Sourcing'(2 processes). The top-right section is 'Demand Fulfillment'(9 processes). Along the bottom is the section 'Enterprise Management and Planning' with subsections 'Human Resources'(4 processes), 'Business Direction'(4 processes), and 'Finance'(4 processes).

If you do not have a documented process model, you can use the APQC Framework to help define your inventory of business processes.

APQC’s Process Classification Framework is a taxonomy of cross-functional business processes intended to allow the objective comparison of organizational performance within and among organizations.

APQC’s Process Classification Framework

Activity 2.2.1 – Process inventory

2-4 hours

  1. As a group, discuss the business capabilities, value streams, and business processes.
  2. For each capability determine the following:
    • Is this capability applicable to our organization?
    • What application, if any, supports this capability?
  3. Are there any missing capabilities to add?

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Process Inventory' table on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 2.2.1 – Process inventory

Core Finance Core HR Workforce Management Talent Management Warehouse Management Enterprise Asset Management
Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology
  • General ledger
  • Accounts payable
  • Accounts receivable
  • GL consolidation
  • Cash management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Expenses
  • Payroll accounting
  • Tax management
  • Reporting
  • Payroll administration
  • Benefits administration
  • Position management
  • Organizational structure
  • Core HR records
  • Time and attendance
  • Leave management
  • Scheduling
  • Performance management
  • Talent acquisition
  • Offboarding & onboarding
  • Plan layout
  • Manage inventory
  • Manage loading docks
  • Pick, pack, ship
  • Plan and manage workforce
  • Manage returns
  • Transfer product cross-dock
  • Asset lifecycle management
  • Supply chain management
  • Maintenance planning & scheduling
Planning & Budgeting Strategic HR Procurement Customer Relationship Management Facilities Management Project Management
Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology Process Technology
  • Budget reporting
  • Variance analysis
  • Multi-year operating plan
  • Monthly forecasting
  • Annual operating plan
  • Compensation planning
  • Workforce planning
  • Succession planning
  • Supplier management
  • Purchase order management
  • Workflow approvals
  • Contract / tender management
  • Contact management
  • Activity management
  • Analytics
  • Plan and acquire
  • Asset maintenance
  • Disposal
  • Project management
  • Project costing
  • Budget control
  • Document management

Complete an inventory collection of your application portfolio

MANAGED vs. UNMANAGED APPLICATION ENVIRONMENTS

  • Managed environments make way for easier inventory collection since there is significant control as to what applications can be installed on a company asset. Organizations will most likely have a comprehensive list of supported and approved applications.
  • Unmanaged environments are challenging to control because users are free to install any applications on company assets, which may or may not be supported by IT.
  • Most organizations fall somewhere in between – there is usually a central repository of applications and several applications that are exceptions to the company policies. Ensure that all applications are accounted for.

Determine your inventory collection method:

MANUAL INVENTORY COLLECTION
  • In its simplest form, a spreadsheet is used to document your application inventory.
  • For large organizations, reps interview all business domains to create a list of installed applications.
  • Conducting an end-user survey within your business domains is one way to gather your application inventory and assess quality.
  • This manual approach is most appropriate for smaller organizations with small application portfolios across domains.
AUTOMATED INVENTORY COLLECTION
  • Using inventory collection compatibility tools, discover all of the supported applications within your organization.
  • This approach may not capture all applications, depending on the parameters of your automated tool.
  • This approach works well in a managed environment.

Activity 2.2.2 – Understand the current application portfolio

1-2 hours

  1. Brainstorm a list of the applications that support the ERP business processes inventoried in Activity 2.2.1. If an application has multiple instances, list each instance as a separate line item.
  2. Indicate the following for each application:
    1. User satisfaction. This may be more than one entry as different groups – e.g., IT vs. business – may differ.
    2. Processes supported. Refer to processes defined in Activity 2.2.1. Update 2.2.1 if additional processes are identified during this exercise.
    3. Define a future disposition: Keep, Update, Replace. It is possible to have more than one disposition, e.g., Update or Replace is a valid disposition.
  3. [Optional] Collect the following information about each application. This information can be used to calculate the cost per application and total cost per user:
    1. Number of users or user groups
    2. Estimated maintenance costs
    3. Estimated capital costs
    4. Estimated licensing costs
    5. Estimated support costs

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Application Portfolio' table on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

2.2.2 - Application portfolio

Inventory your applications and assess usage, satisfaction, and disposition

Application Name Satisfaction Processes Supported Future Disposition
PeopleSoft Financials Medium and declining ERP – shares one support person with HR Update or Replace
Time Entry (custom) Low Time and Attendance Replace
PeopleSoft HR Medium Core HR Update or Replace
ServiceNow High ITSM
CSM: Med-Low
ITSM and CSM
CSM – complexity and process changes
Update
Data Warehouse High IT
Business: Med-Low
BI portal – Tibco SaaS datamart Keep
Regulatory Compliance Medium Regulatory software – users need training Keep
ACL Analytics Low Audit Replace
Elite Medium Supply chain for wholesale Update (in progress)
Visual Importer Med-High Customs and taxes Keep
Custom Reporting application Med-High Reporting solution for wholesale (custom for old system, patched for Elite) Replace

2.3.1 – Visual application portfolio [optional]

A diagram of applications and how they connect to each other. There are 'External Systems' and 'Internal Systems' split into three divisions, 'Retail Division', 'Wholesale Division', and 'Corporate Services'. Example external systems are 'Moneris', 'Freight Carriers', and 'Banks'. Example internal systems are 'Retail ERP/POS', 'Elite', and 'Excel'.

Step 2.3

Process pains, opportunities, and maturity

Activities
  • 2.3.1 Level one process inventory with stakeholders
  • 2.3.2 Process pain points and opportunities
  • 2.3.3 Process key success indicators
  • 2.3.4 Process and technology maturity
  • 2.3.5 Mega-process prioritization

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Assign stakeholders, discuss pain points, opportunities, and key success indicators for the mega-processes identified in Step 2.1
  • Assign process and technology maturity to each prioritizing the mega-processes

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP applications support team

Outcomes of this step

For each mega-process:

  • Level 1 processes with process and technology maturity assigned
  • Stakeholders identified
  • Process pain points, opportunities, and key success indicators identified
  • Prioritize the mega-processes

Building out the mega-processes

Congratulations, you have made it to the “big lift” portion of the blueprint. For each of the processes that were identified in exercise 2.2.1, you will fill out the following six details:

  1. Primary stakeholder(s)
  2. A description of the process
  3. hat level 1 processes/capabilities the mega-process is composed of
  4. Problems the new system must solve
  5. What success will look like when the new system is implemented
  6. The process and technological maturity of each level 1 process.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report, as shown on the next slide, with numbers corresponding to the ordered list above. 1 is on a list of 'Stakeholders', 2 is by the 'Description' box, 3 is on the 'Capability' table column, 4 is on the 'Current Pain Points' box, 5 is on the 'Key Success Factors' box, and 6 is on the 'Maturity' ratings column.

It will take one to three hours per mega-process to complete the six different sections.

Note:
For each mega-process identified you will create a separate slide in the ERP Strategy Report. Default slides have been provided. Add or delete as necessary.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report. Note on the list of stakeholders reads 'Primary Stakeholders'. Note on the title, Core Finance, reads 'Mega-process name'. Note on the description box reads 'Description of the process'. Note on the 'Key Success Factors' box reads 'What success looks like'. Note on the 'Current Pain Points' box reads 'Problems the new system must solve'. Below is a capability table with columns 'Capability', 'Maturity', and a blank on for notes. Note on the 'Capability' table column reads 'Level 1 process'. Note on the 'Maturity' ratings column reads 'Level 1 process maturity of process and technology'. Note on the notes column reads 'Level 1 process notes'.

An ERP project is most effective when you follow a structured approach to define, select, implement, and optimize

Top-down approach

ERP Strategy
  • Operating Model – Define process strategy, objectives, and operational implications.
  • Level 1 Processes –Define process boundaries, scope at the organization level; the highest level of mega-process.

  • Level 2 Processes – Define processes by function/group which represent the next level of process interaction in the organization.
  • Level 3 Processes – Decompose process by activity and role and identify suppliers, inputs, outputs, customers, metrics, and controls.
  • Functional Specifications; Blueprint and Technical Framework – Refine how the system will support and enable processes; includes functional and technical elements.
  • Org Structure and Change Management – Align org structure and develop change mgmt. strategy to support your target operating model.
  • Implementation and Transition to Operations – Execute new methods, systems, processes, procedures, and organizational structure.
  • ERP Optimization and Continuous Improvement – Establish a program to monitor, govern, and improve ERP systems and processes.

*A “stage gate” approach should be used: the next level begins after consensus is achieved for the previous level.

Activity 2.3.1 – Level 1 process inventory with stakeholders

1 hour per mega-process

  1. Identify the primary stakeholder for the mega-process. The primary stakeholder is usually the process owner. For example, for core finance the CFO is the process owner/primary stakeholder. Name a maximum of three stakeholders.
  2. In the lower section, detail all the capabilities/processes associated with the mega-process. Be careful to remain at the level 1 process level as it is easy to start identifying the “How” of a process. The “How” is too deep.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report with the 'Stakeholders' list and 'Capability' table column highlighted.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 2.3.2 – Process pain points and opportunities

30+ minutes per mega-process

  1. As a group, write a clear description of the mega-process. This helps establish alignment on the scope of the mega-process.
  2. Start with the discussion of current pain points with the various capabilities. These pain points will be items that the new solution will have to resolve.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report with the 'Description', 'Key Success Factors', and 'Current Pain Points' boxes highlighted.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 2.3.3 – Key success indicators

30 minutes per mega-process

  1. Document key success factors that should be base-lined in the existing system to show the overall improvement once the new system is implemented. For example, if month-end close takes 12 days in the current system, target three days for month-end close in the new system.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report with the 'Description', 'Key Success Factors', and 'Current Pain Points' boxes highlighted.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 2.3.4 – Process and technology maturity

1 hour

  1. For each capability/level 1 process identified determine you level of process maturity:
    • Weak – Ad hoc processes without documentation
    • Moderate – Documented processes that are often executed consistently
    • Strong – Documented processes that include exception handling that are rigorously followed
    • Payroll is an example of a strong process, even if every step is manual. The process is executed the same every time to ensure staff are paid properly and on time.
  2. For each capability/level 1 process identified determine you level of technology maturity:
    • Weak – manual execution and often paper-based
    • Moderate – Some technology support with little automation
    • Strong – The process executed entirely within the technology stack with no manual processes

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Sample of the 'Core Finance' slide in the ERP Strategy Report with the 'Maturity' and notes columns highlighted.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Activity 2.3.5 – Mega-process prioritization

1 hour

  1. For the mega-processes identified, map each process’s current state in terms of process rigor versus organizational importance.
    • For process rigor, refer to your process maturity in the previous exercises.
  2. Now, as a group discuss how you want to “move the needle” on each of the processes. Remember that you have a limited capacity so focus on the processes that are, or will be, of strategic importance to the organization. The processes that are placed in the top right quadrant are the ones that are likely the strategic differentiators.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

A smaller version of the process prioritization map on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template.

ERP Process Prioritization

Establishing an order of importance can impact vendor selection and implementation roadmap; high priority areas are critical for ERP success.

A prioritization map placing processes by 'Rigor' and 'Organizational Importance' They are numbered 1-9, 0, A, and B and are split into two colour-coded sets for 'Future (green)' and 'Current(red)'. On the x-axis 'Organizational Importance' ranges from 'Operational' to 'Strategic' and on the y-axis 'Process Rigor' ranges from 'Get the Job Done' to 'Best Practice'. Comparing 'Current' to 'Future', they have all moved up from 'Get the Job Done' into 'Best Practice' territory and a few have migrated over from 'Operational' to 'Strategic'. Processes are 1. Core Finance, 2. Core HR, 3. Workforce Management, 4.Talent Management, 5. Employee Health and Safety, 6. Enterprise Asset Management, 7.Planning & Budgeting, 8. Strategic HR, 9. Procurement Mgmt., 0. CRM, A. Facilities, and B. Project Management.

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Phase 3

Plan your project

Phase 1

  • 1.1 Aligning business and IT
  • 1.2 Scope and priorities

Phase 2

  • 2.1 ERP Business Model
  • 2.2 ERP processes and supporting applications
  • 2.3 Process pains, opportunities & maturity

Phase 3

  • 3.1 Stakeholders, risk & value
  • 3.2 Project set up

Phase 4

  • 4.1 Build your roadmap
  • 4.2 Wrap up and present

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Map out your stakeholders to evaluate their impact on the project
  • Build an initial risk register and ensure the group is aligned
  • Set the initial core project team and their accountabilities and get them started on the project

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Step 3.1

Stakeholders, risk, and value

Activities
  • 3.1.1 Stakeholder analysis
  • 3.1.2 Potential pitfalls and mitigation strategies
  • 3.1.3 Project value [optional]

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Map out your stakeholders to evaluate their impact on the project
  • Build an initial risk register and ensure the group is aligned

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

  • An understanding of the stakeholders and their project influence
  • An initial risk register
  • A consensus on readiness to proceed

Understand how to navigate the complex web of stakeholders in ERP

Identify which stakeholders to include and what their level of involvement should be during requirements elicitation based on relevant topic expertise.

Sponsor End User IT Business
Description An internal stakeholder who has final sign-off on the ERP project. Front-line users of the ERP technology. Back-end support staff who are tasked with project planning, execution, and eventual system maintenance. Additional stakeholders that will be impacted by any ERP technology changes.
Examples
  • CEO
  • CIO/CTO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • Warehouse personnel
  • Sales teams
  • HR admins
  • Applications manager
  • Vendor relationship manager(s)
  • Director, Procurement
  • VP, Marketing
  • Manager, HR
Value Executive buy-in and support is essential to the success of the project. Often, the sponsor controls funding and resource allocation. End users determine the success of the system through user adoption. If the end user does not adopt the system, the system is deemed useless and benefits realization is poor. IT is likely to be responsible for more in-depth requirements gathering. IT possesses critical knowledge around system compatibility, integration, and data. Involving business stakeholders in the requirements gathering will ensure alignment between HR and organizational objectives.

Large-scale ERP projects require the involvement of many stakeholders from all corners and levels of the organization, including project sponsors, IT, end users, and business stakeholders. Consider the influence and interest of stakeholders in contributing to the requirements elicitation process and involve them accordingly.

An example stakeholder map, categorizing stakeholders by amount of influence and interest.

Activity 3.1.1 – Map your stakeholders

1 hour

  1. As a group, identify all the ERP stakeholders. A stakeholder may be an individual such as the CEO or CFO, or it may be a group such as front-line employees.
  2. Map each stakeholder on the quadrant based on their expected Influence and Involvement in the project
  3. [Optional] Color code the users using the scale below to quickly identify the group that the stakeholder belongs to.
    • Sponsor – An internal stakeholder who has final sign-off on the ERP project.
    • End User – Front-line users of the ERP technology.
    • IT – Back-end support staff who are tasked with project planning, execution, and eventual system maintenance.
    • Business – Additional stakeholders that will be impacted by any ERP technology changes.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Slide titled 'Map the organization's stakeholders with a more in-depth example of a stakeholder map and long 'List of Stakeholders'. The quadrants that stakeholders are sorted into by influence and involvement are labelled 'Keep Satisfied (1)', 'Involve Closely (2)', 'Monitor (3)', and 'Keep Informed (4)'.

Prepare contingency plans to minimize time spent handling unexpected risks

Understanding the technical and strategic risks of a project can help you establish contingencies to reduce the likelihood of risk occurrence and devise mitigation strategies to help offset their impact if contingencies are insufficient.

Risk Impact Likelihood Mitigation Effort
Inadequate budget for additional staffing resources. 2 1 Use internal transfers and role-sharing rather than external hiring.
Push-back on an ERP solution. 2 2 Use formal communication plans, an ERP steering committee, and change management to overcome organizational readiness.
Overworked resources. 1 1 Create a detailed project plan that outlines resources and timelines in advance.
Rating Scale:
Impact: 1- High Risk 2- Moderate Risk 3- Minimal Risk
Likelihood: 1- High/Needs Focus 2- Can Be Mitigated 3- Remote Likelihood

Remember

The biggest sources of risk in an ERP strategy are lack of planning, poorly defined requirements, and lack of governance.

Apply the following mitigation tips to avoid pitfalls and delays.

Risk Mitigation Tips

  • Upfront planning
  • Realistic timelines
  • Resource support
  • Managing change
  • Executive sponsorship
  • Sufficient funding
  • Setting the right expectations

Activity 3.1.2 – Identify potential project pitfalls and mitigation strategies

1-2 hours

  1. Discuss what “Impact” and “Likelihood” mean to your organization. For example, define Impact by what is important to your organization – financial loss, reputational impact, employee loss, and process impairment are all possible factors.
  2. Identify potential risks that may impede the successful completion of each work initiative. Risks may include predictable factors such as low resource capability, or unpredictable factors such as a change in priorities leading to withdrawn buy-in.
  3. For each risk, identify mitigation tactics. In some cases, mitigation tactics might take the form of standalone work initiative. For example, if a risk is lack of end-user buy-in, a work initiative to mitigate that risk might be to build an end-user communication plan.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Risks

Risk Impact Likelihood Mitigation Effort
Inadequate budget for additional staffing resources. 2 1 Use internal transfers and role-sharing rather than external hiring.
Push-back on an ERP solution. 2 2 Use formal communication plans, an ERP steering committee, and change management to overcome organizational readiness.
Overworked resources. 1 1 Create a detailed project plan that outlines resources and timelines in advance.
Project approval 1 1 Build a strong business case for project approval and allow adequate time for the approval process
Software does not work as advertised resulting in custom functionality with associated costs to create/ maintain 1 2 Work with staff to change processes to match the software instead of customizing the system thorough needs analysis prior to RFP creation
Under estimation of staffing levels required, i.e. staff utilized at 25% for project when they are still 100% on their day job 1 2 Build a proper business case around staffing (be somewhat pessimistic)
EHS system does not integrate with new HRMS/ERP system 2 2
Selection of an ERP/HRMS that does not integrate with existing systems 2 3 Be very clear in RFP on existing systems that MUST be integrated to
Rating Scale:
Impact: 1- High Risk 2- Moderate Risk 3- Minimal Risk
Likelihood: 1- High/Needs Focus 2- Can Be Mitigated 3- Remote Likelihood

Is the organization committed to the ERP project?

A recent study of critical success factors to an ERP implementation identified top management support and interdepartmental communication and cooperation as the top two success factors.

By answering the seven questions the key stakeholders are indicating their commitment. While this doesn’t guarantee that the top two critical success factors have been met, it does create the conversation to guide the organization into alignment on whether to proceed.

A table of example stakeholder questions with options 1-5 for how strongly they agree or disagree. 'Strongly disagree - 1', 'Somewhat disagree - 2', 'Neither agree or disagree - 3', 'Somewhat agree - 4', 'Strongly agree - 5'.

Activity 3.1.3 – Project value (optional)

30 minutes

  1. As a group, discuss the seven questions in the table. Ensure everyone agrees on what the questions are asking. If necessary, modify the language so that the meaning is clear to everyone.
  2. Have each stakeholder answer the seven questions on their own. Have someone compile the answers looking for:
    1. Any disagrees, strongly, somewhat, or neither as this indicates a lack of clarity. Endeavour to discover what additional information is required.
    2. [Optional] Have the most positive and most negative respondents present their points of view for the group to discuss. Is someone being overly optimistic, or pessimistic? Did the group miss something?

There are no wrong answers. It should be okay to disagree with any of these statements. The goal of the exercise is to generate conversation that leads to support of the project and collaboration on the part of the participants.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

A preview of the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Ask the right questions now to determine the value of the project to the organization

Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements.

Question # Question Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Neither agree nor disagree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
1. I have everything I need to succeed. 1 2 3 4 5
2. The right people are involved in the project. 1 2 3 4 5
3. I understand the process of ERP selection. 1 2 3 4 5
4. My role in the project is clear to me. 1 2 3 4 5
5. I am clear about the vision for this project. 1 2 3 4 5
6. I am nervous about this project. 1 2 3 4 5
7. There is leadership support for the project. 1 2 3 4 5

Step 3.2

Project set up

Activities
  • 3.2.1 Create the project team
  • 3.2.2 Set the project RACI

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Set the initial core project team and their accountabilities to the project.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

  • Identify the core team members and their time commitments.
  • Assign responsibility, accountability or communication needs.

Identify the right stakeholders for your project team

Consider the core team functions when composing the project team. It is essential to ensure that all relevant perspectives (business, IT, etc.) are evaluated to create a well-aligned and holistic ERP strategy.

PROJECT TEAM ROLES

  • Project champion
  • Project advisor
  • Steering committee
  • Project manager
  • Project team
  • Subject matter experts
  • Change management specialist

PROJECT TEAM FUNCTIONS

  • Collecting all relevant inputs from the business.
  • Gathering high-level requirements.
  • Creating a roadmap.

Info-Tech Insight

There may be an inclination towards a large project team when trying to include all relevant stakeholders. Carefully limiting the size of the project team will enable effective decision making while still including functional business units like HR and Finance, as well as IT.

Activity 3.2.1 – Project team

1 hour

  1. Considering your ERP project scope, discuss the resources and capabilities necessary, and generate a complete list of key stakeholders considering each of the roles indicated on the chart to the right.
  2. Using the list previously generated, identify a candidate(s) for each role and determine their responsibility in the ERP strategy and their expected time commitment.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the table on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Project team

Of particular importance for this table is the commitment column. It is important that the organization understands the level of involvement for all roles. Failure to properly account for the necessary involvement is a major risk factor.

Role Candidate Responsibility Commitment
Project champion John Smith
  • Provide executive sponsorship.
20 hours/week
Steering committee
  • Establish goals and priorities.
  • Define scope and approve changes.
  • Provide adequate resources and resolve conflict.
  • Monitor project milestones.
10 hours/week
Project manager
  • Prepare and manage project plan.
  • Monitor project team progress.
  • Conduct project team meetings.
40 hours/week
Project team
  • Drive day-to-day project activities.
  • Coordinate department communication.
  • Make process and design decisions.
40 hours/week
Subject matter experts by area
  • Attend meetings as needed.
  • Respond to questions and inquiries.
5 hours/week

Define project roles and responsibilities to improve progress tracking

Build a list of the core ERP strategy team members and then structure a RACI chart with the relevant categories and roles for the overall project.

  • Responsible – Conducts work to achieve the task
  • Accountable – Answerable for completeness of task
  • Consulted – Provides input for the task
  • Informed – Receives updates on the task

Benefits of assigning RACI early:

  • Improve project quality by assigning the right people to the right tasks.
  • Improve chances of project task completion by assigning clear accountabilities.
  • Improve project buy-in by ensuring stakeholders are kept informed of project progress, risks, and successes.

Activity 3.2.2 – Project RACI

1 hour

  1. The ERP strategy will require a cross-functional team within IT and business units. Make sure the responsibilities are clearly communicated to the selected project sponsor.
  2. Modify the left-hand column to match the activities expected in your project.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the RACI chart on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

3.2.2 – Project RACI

Project champion Project advisor Project steering committee Project manager Project team Subject matter experts
Determine project scope & vision I C A R C C
Document business goals I I A R I C
Inventory ERP processes I I A C R R
Map current state I I A R I R
Assess gaps and opportunities I C A R I I
Explore alternatives R R A I I R
Build a roadmap R A R I I R
Create a communication plan R A R I I R
Present findings R A R I I R

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap

Phase 4

Next steps

Phase 1

  • 1.1 Aligning business and IT
  • 1.2 Scope and priorities

Phase 2

  • 2.1 ERP Business Model
  • 2.2 ERP processes and supporting applications
  • 2.3 Process pains, opportunities & maturity

Phase 3

  • 3.1 Stakeholders, risk & value
  • 3.2 Project set up

Phase 4

  • 4.1 Build your roadmap
  • 4.2 Wrap up and present

This phase will walk you through the following activities:

  • Review the different options to solve the identified pain points
  • Build out a roadmap showing how you will get to those solutions
  • Build a communication plan that includes the stakeholder presentation

This phase involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Step 4.1

Build your roadmap

Activities
  • 4.1.1 Pick your path
  • 4.1.2 Build your roadmap
  • 4.1.3 Visualize your roadmap (optional)

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Review the different options to solve the identified pain points then build out a roadmap of how to get to that solution.

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

  • A strategic direction is set
  • An initial roadmap is laid out

Choose the right path for your organization

There are several different paths you can take to achieve your ideal future state. Make sure to pick the one that suits your needs as defined by your current state.

A diagram of strategies. At the top is 'Current State', at the bottom is 'Future State', and listed strategies are 'Maintain Current System', 'Augment Current System', 'Optimize', and 'Transform'.

Explore the options for achieving your ideal future state

CURRENT STATE STRATEGY
Your existing application satisfies both functionality and integration requirements. The processes surrounding it likely need attention, but the system should be considered for retention. MAINTAIN CURRENT SYSTEM
Your existing application is, for the most part, functionally rich, but may need some tweaking. Spend time and effort building and enhancing additional functionalities or consolidating and integrating interfaces. AUGMENT CURRENT SYSTEM
Your ERP application portfolio consists of multiple apps serving the same functions. Consolidating applications with duplicate functionality is more cost efficient and makes integration and data sharing simpler. OPTIMIZE: CONSOLIDATE AND INTEGRATE SYSTEMS
Your existing system offers poor functionality and poor integration. It would likely be more cost and time efficient to replace the application and its surrounding processes altogether. TRANSFORM: REPLACE CURRENT SYSTEM

Option: Maintain your current system

Resolve your existing process and people pain points

MAINTAIN CURRENT SYSTEM

Keep the system, change the process.

Your existing application satisfies both functionality and integration requirements. The processes surrounding it likely need attention, but the system should be considered for retention.

Maintaining your current system entails adjusting current processes and/or adding new ones, and involves minimal cost, time, and effort.

INDICATORS POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
People Pain Points
  • Lack of training
  • Low user adoption
  • Lack of change management
  • Contact vendor to inquire about employee training opportunities
  • Build a change management strategy
Process Pain Points
  • Legacy processes
  • Workarounds and shortcuts
  • Highly specialized processes
  • Inconsistent processes
  • Explore process reengineering and process improvement opportunities
  • Evaluate and standardize processes

Option: Augment your current system

Use augmentation to resolve your existing technology and data pain points

AUGMENT CURRENT SYSTEM

Add to the system.

Your existing application is for the most part functionally rich but may need some tweaking. Spend time and effort enhancing your current system.

You will be able to add functions by leveraging existing system features. Augmentation requires limited investment and less time and effort than a full system replacement.

INDICATORS POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
Technology Pain Points
  • Lack of reporting functions.
  • Lacking functional depth in key process areas.
  • Add point solutions or enable modules to address missing functionality.
Data Pain Points
  • Poor data quality
  • Lack of data for processing and reporting
  • Single-source data entry
  • Add modules or augment processes to capture data

Option: Consolidate and integrate

Consolidate and integrate your current systems to address your technology and data pain points

CONSOLIDATE AND INTEGRATE SYSTEMS

Get rid of one system, combine two, or connect many.

Your ERP application portfolio consists of multiple apps serving the same functions.

Consolidating your systems eliminates the need to manage multiple pieces of software that provide duplicate functionality. Reducing the number of ERP applications makes integration and data sharing simpler.

INDICATORS POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
Technology Pain Points
  • Disparate and disjointed systems
  • Multiple systems supporting the same function
  • Unused software licenses
  • System consolidation
  • System and module integration
  • Assess usage and consolidate licensing
Data Pain Points
  • Multiple versions of same data
  • Duplication of data entry in different modules or systems
  • Poor data quality
  • Centralize core records
  • Assign data ownership
  • Single-source data entry

Option: Replace your current system

Replace your system to address gaps in your existing processes and various pain points

REPLACE CURRENT SYSTEM

Start from scratch.

You’re transitioning from an end-of-life legacy system. Your existing system offers poor functionality and poor integration. It would likely be more cost and time efficient to replace the application and its surrounding processes all together.

INDICATORS POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS
Technology Pain Points
  • Lack of functionality and poor integration.
  • Obsolete technology.
  • Not aligned with technology direction or enterprise architecture plans.
  • Evaluate the ERP technology landscape.
  • Determine if you need to replace the current system with a point solution or an all-in-one solution.
  • Align ERP technologies with enterprise architecture.
Data Pain Points
  • Limited capability to store and retrieve data.
  • Understand your data requirements.
Process Pains
  • Insufficient tools to manage workflow.
  • Review end-to-end processes.
  • Assess user satisfaction.

Activity 4.1.1 – Path to future state

1+ hour
  1. Discuss the four options and the implications for your organization.
  2. Come to an agreement on your chosen path.

The same diagram of strategies. At the top is 'Current State', at the bottom is 'Future State', and listed strategies are 'Maintain Current System', 'Augment Current System', 'Optimize', and 'Transform'.

Activity 4.1.2 – Build a roadmap

1-2 hours

  1. Start your roadmap with the stakeholder presentation. This is your mark in the sand to launch the project.
  2. For each item on your roadmap assign an owner who will be accountable to the completion of the roadmap item.
  3. Wherever possible, assign a start date, month, or quarter. The more specific you can be the better.
  4. Identify completion dates to create a sense of urgency. If you are struggling with start dates, it can help to start with a finish date and “back in” to a start date based on estimated efforts.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Note:
Your roadmap should be treated as a living document that is updated and shared with the stakeholders on a regular schedule.

Preview of the strategy roadmap table on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

ERP Strategy roadmap

Initiative Owner Start Date Completion Date
Create final workshop deliverable Info-Tech 16 September, 2021
Review final deliverable Workshop sponsor
Present to executive team Oct 2021
Build business case CFO, CIO, Directors 3 weeks to build
3-4 weeks process time
Build an RFI for initial costings 1-2 weeks
Stage 1 approval for requirements gathering Executive committee Milestone
Determine and acquire BA support for next step 1 week
Requirements gathering – level 2 processes Project team 5-6 weeks effort
Build RFP (based on informal approval) CFO, CIO, Directors 4th calendar quarter 2022 Possible completion January 2023
2-4 weeks

Activity 4.1.3 – Build a visual roadmap [optional]

1 hour

  1. For some, a visual representation of a roadmap is easier to comprehend. Consider taking the roadmap built in 4.1.2 and creating a visual.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the visual strategy roadmap chart on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

ERP Strategy Roadmap

A table set up similarly to the previous one, but instead of 'Start Date' and 'Completion Date' columns there are multiple small columns broken up by fiscal quarters (i.e.. FY2022: Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4). There is a key with a light blue diamond shape representing a 'Milestone' and a blue arrow representing a 'Work in progress'; they are placed the Quarters columns according to when each row item reached a milestone or began its progress.

Step 4.2

Wrap up and present

Activities
  • 4.2.1 Communication plan
  • 4.2.2 Stakeholder presentation

This step will walk you through the following activities:

  • Build a communication plan as part of organizational change management, which includes the stakeholder presentation

This step involves the following participants:

  • Primary stakeholders in each value stream supported by the ERP
  • ERP Applications support team

Outcomes of this step

  • An initial communication plan for organizational change management
  • A stakeholder presentation

Effectively communicate the changes an ERP foundation strategy will impose

A communication plan is necessary because not everyone will react positively to change. Therefore, you must be prepared to explain the rationale behind any initiatives that are being rolled out.

Steps:

  1. Start by building a sound communication plan.
  2. The communication plan should address all stakeholders that will be subject to change, including executives and end users.
  3. Communicate how a specific initiative will impact the way employees work and the work they do.
  4. Clearly convey the benefits of the strategy to avoid resistance.

“The most important thing in project management is communication, communication, communication. You have to be able to put a message into business terms rather than technical terms.” (Lance Foust, I.S. Manager, Plymouth Tube Company)

Project Goals Communication Goals Required Resources Communication Channels
Why is your organization embarking on an ERP project? What do you want employees to know about the project? What resources are going to be utilized throughout the ERP strategy? How will your project team communicate project updates to the employees?
Streamline processes and achieve operational efficiency. We will focus on mapping and gathering requirements for (X) mega-processes. We will be hiring process owners for each mega-process. You will be kept up to date about the project progress via email and intranet. Please feel free to contact the project owner if you have any questions.

Activity 4.2.1 – Communication plan

1 hour

  1. List the types of communication events and documents you will need to produce and distribute.
  2. Indicate the purpose of the event or document, who the audience is, and who is responsible for the communication.
  3. Identify who will be responsible for the development and delivery of the communication plan.

Record this information in the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Preview of the Communication Plan table on the next slide.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Communication plan

Use the communication planning template to track communication methods needed to convey information regarding ERP initiatives.

This is designed to help your organization make ERP initiatives visible and create stakeholder awareness.

Audience Purpose Delivery/ Format Communicator Delivery Date Status/Notes
Front-line employees Highlight successes Bi-weekly email CEO Mondays
Entire organization Highlight successes
Plans for next iteration
Monthly townhall Senior leadership Last Thursday of every month Recognize top contributors from different parts of the business. Consider giving out prizes such as coffee mugs
Iteration demos Show completed functionality to key stakeholders Iteration completion web conference Delivery lead Every other Wednesday Record and share the demonstrations to all employees

Conduct a presentation of the final deliverable for stakeholders

After completing the activities and exercises within this blueprint, the final step of the process is to present the deliverable to senior management and stakeholders.

Know Your Audience

  • Decide what needs to be presented and to whom. The purpose and format for communicating initiatives varies based on the audience. Identify the audience first to ensure initiatives are communicated appropriately.
  • IT and the business speak different languages. The business may not have the patience to try to understand IT, so it is up to IT to learn and use the language of business. Failing to put messages into language that resonates with the business will create disengagement and resistance.
  • Effective communication takes preparation to get the right content and tone to convey your real message.

Learn From Other Organizations

“When delivering the strategy and next steps, break the project down into consumable pieces. Make sure you deliver quick wins to retain enthusiasm and engagement.

By making it look like a different project you keep momentum and avoid making it seem unattainable.” (Scott Clark, Innovation Credit Union)

“To successfully sell the value of ERP, determine what the high-level business problem is and explain how ERP can be the resolution. Explicitly state which business areas ERP is going to touch. The business often has a very narrow view of ERP and perceives it as just a financial system. The key part of the strategy is that the organization sees the broader view of ERP.” (Scott Clark, Innovation Credit Union)

Activity 4.2.2 – Stakeholder presentation

1 hour

  1. The following sections of the ERP Strategy Report Template are designed to function as the stakeholder presentation:
    1. Workshop Overview
    2. ERP Models
    3. Roadmap
  2. You can use the Template as your presentation deck or extract the above sections to create a stand-alone stakeholder presentation.
  3. Remember to take your audience into account and anticipate the questions they may have.

Samples of the ERP Strategy Report Template.

Download the ERP Strategy Report Template

Summary of Accomplishment

Get the Most Out of Your ERP

ERP technology is critical to facilitating an organization’s flow of information across business units. It allows for seamless integration of systems and creates a holistic view of the enterprise to support decision making. ERP implementation should not be a one-and-done exercise. There needs to be an ongoing optimization to enable business processes and optimal organizational results.

Build an ERP Strategy and Roadmap allows organizations to proactively implement continuous assessment and optimization of their enterprise resource planning system, including:

  • Alignment and prioritization of key business and technology drivers.
  • Identification of ERP processes, including classification and gap analysis.
  • Measurement of user satisfaction across key departments.
  • Improved vendor relations.
  • Data quality initiatives.

This formal ERP optimization initiative will drive business-IT alignment, identify IT automation priorities, and dig deep into continuous process improvement.

If you would like additional support, have our analysts guide you through other phases as part of an Info-Tech workshop.

Contact your account representative for more information.
workshops@infotech.com 1-888-670-8889

Research Contributors

Name Title Organization
Anonymous Anonymous Software industry
Anonymous Anonymous Pharmaceutical industry
Boris Znebel VP of Sales Second Foundation
Brian Kudeba Director, Administrative Systems Fidelis Care
David Lawrence Director, ERP Allegheny Technologies Inc.
Ken Zima CIO Aquarion Water Company
Lance Foust I.S. Manager Plymouth Tube Company
Pooja Bagga Head of ERP Strategy & Change Transport for London
Rob Schneider Project Director, ERP Strathcona County
Scott Clark Innovation Credit Union
Tarek Raafat Manager, Application Solutions IDRC
Tom Walker VP, Information Technology StarTech.com

Related Info-Tech Research

Bibliography

Gheorghiu, Gabriel. "The ERP Buyer’s Profile for Growing Companies." Selecthub. 2018. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

"Maximizing the Emotional Economy: Behavioral Economics." Gallup. n.d. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

Neito-Rodriguez, Antonio. Project Management | How to Prioritize Your Company's Projects. 13 Dec. 2016. Accessed 29 Nov 2021. Web.

"A&D organization resolves organizational.“ Case Study. Panorama Consulting Group. 2021. PDF. 09 Nov. 2021. Web.

"Process Frameworks." APQC. n.d. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

Saxena, Deepak and Joe Mcdonagh. "Evaluating ERP Implementations: The Case for a Lifecycle-based Interpretive Approach." The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation, 29-37. 22 Feb. 2019. Accessed 21 Feb. 2021.

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Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation #1 - Build alignment and scope
  • Call #1 - Scoping call to understand the current situation.
  • Call #2 - Establish business & IT alignment and project scope.

Guided Implementation #2 - Define your ERP
  • Call #1 - Discuss the ERP Strategy business model and mega-processes.
  • Call #2 - Begin the drill down on the level 1 processes.

Guided Implementation #3 - Plan your project
  • Call #1 - Establish the stakeholder map and project risks.
  • Call #2 - Discuss project setup including stakeholder commitment and accountability.

Guided Implementation #4 - Next steps
  • Call #1 - Discuss resolution paths and build initial roadmap.
  • Call #2 - Summarize results and plan next steps.

Author

Robert Fayle

Contributors

  • Brian Kudeba, Director, Administrative Services, Fidelis Care
  • David Lawrence, Director, ERP, Allegheny Technologies Inc.
  • Ken Zima, CIO, Aquarion Water Company
  • Pooja Bagga, Head of ERP Strategy & Change, Transport for London
  • Rob Schneider, Project Director, ERP, Strathcona County
  • Tarek Raafat, Manager, Application Solutions, IDRC
  • Two anonymous contributors
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