Establish a Concrete ERP Foundation

Getting your ERP project off the ground starts with a stakeholder-aligned blueprint.

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Your Challenge

  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are complex. It is not an easy task for IT to address differing business unit requirements’ and effectively manage stakeholder expectations.
  • ERP projects impact the entire organization. The disruption is felt before, during, and after implementation, as everyone struggles to maximize the benefits of the investment.
  • Organizations often do not know where to start with an ERP project. They embark tactically on planning the start of the project, but ignore the strategic foundation that sets the ERP up for success.
  • The outcome of the ERP project is completely dependent on the foundation established at the outset. Missteps early on can cost you time, financial resources, and careers.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • At some point in the ERP project, you will be asked why you are doing it. Make sure you have a compelling case that is built on the strategic business objectives.
  • If you fail to receive top management support, don’t proceed with an ERP project.
  • An ERP should be a business-led initiative, yet IT is often given the ownership of the project without being armed with the resources and capabilities to execute on the project. 

Impact and Result

  • Build a clear operating model/business model to guide the strategy and decision-making process.
  • Gain an overview of the organizational capacity to embark and execute on the ERP project – change impact, stakeholders, and level of involvement required.
  • Have clear and measurable success metrics established at the outset of the project structuring.
  • List critical success factors and relevant success metrics.
  • Understand ERP stakeholders – where the stakeholders fit in the project and their involvement in the project.
  • Identify risks and determine initial mitigation plans.
  • Set clear organizational expectations from the ERP project – agree on guiding principles and table stakes, and prioritize process/functional areas.

Contributors

  • Boris Znebel, VP of Sales, Second Foundation
  • Tom Walker, VP, Information Technology, StarTech.com
  • Lance Foust, I.S. Manager, Plymouth Tube Company
  • Scott Clark, Innovation Credit Union

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should establish a concrete ERP foundation, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Create a vision for ERP

    Assess the value of creating a solid ERP foundation and structure the project.

  2. Model future state

    Gather requirements to complete the ERP Business Model and ERP Operating Model.

  3. Implement and finalize deliverable

    Develop a high-level implementation plan to communicate short- and long-term initiatives. Present the ERP foundation to stakeholders.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a seven call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Create a vision for ERP

  • Call #1: Understand the importance of an ERP foundation.

  • Call #2: Structure the project. Choose the project team, identify risks, and finalize the project charter.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Model future state

  • Call #1: Create an ERP business model by identifying goals, objectives, risks, and drivers.

  • Call #2: Identify mega-processes and complete the ERP operating model.

  • Call #3: Identify process KPIs and guiding principles.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Implement and finalize deliverable

  • Call #1: Create a high-level implementation plan and discuss key project components (risk and change management).

  • Call #2: Tips and tricks for presenting the final deliverable to stakeholders.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Create a Vision for ERP

The Purpose

  • Understand the importance of establishing an ERP foundation before proceeding with ERP selection and implementation.
  • Learn why a large percentage of ERP projects fail and how to avoid common mistakes.
  • Set expectations for the ERP foundation and understand Info-Tech’s ERP methodology.
  • Complete a project charter to gain buy-in, build a project team, and track project success.  

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A go/no-go decision on the project appropriateness.
  • Project stakeholders identified.
  • Project team created with defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Finalized project charter to gain buy-in.  

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Define roles and responsibilities.
  • Defined roles and responsibilities.
1.2 Create a RACI chart.
  • Assigned responsibilities throughout the life of the project.
1.3 Set boundaries and scope the project.
  • Clearly defined scope and expectations.

Module 2: Model Future State

The Purpose

  • Identify ERP drivers and objectives.
  • Understand ERP challenges and pain points.
  • Discover the ERP benefits and opportunities.
  • Align the ERP strategy with the corporate strategy.
  • Map the current state of applications and the processes they support.
  • Understand the processes the future ERP solution will support.
  • Group core operational processes into larger mega-processes.   

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A firm understanding of the current ERP environment.
  • Strategic alignment between IT and the business.
  • Identify future state and ERP expectations for supporting processes.
  • Knowledge on current mega-processes and how to move forward with monitoring and improving processes.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Identify ERP drivers, objectives, challenges, benefits, and opportunities.
  • Completed ERP business model.
2.2 Map current state of applications and processes.
  • Current state map.
2.3 Map future state.
  • Future state of ERP.
2.4 Define mega-processes in the scope of ERP.
2.5 Assign process owners to mega-processes.
2.6 Determine guiding principles for each mega-process.
2.7 Identify key success factors for each mega-process.
2.8 Create a stakeholder map for each mega-process.
  • Finalized ERP operating model and next steps for monitoring processes, tracking success, and communicating progress.

Module 3: Implement and Finalize Deliverable

The Purpose

  • Brainstorm and prioritize short- and long-term ERP tasks.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand next steps for the ERP project.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Create a high-level implementation plan.
  • Completed implementation plan.
3.2 Create a communication plan to convey information.
  • Completed communication plan.
3.3 Establish ERP metrics.
  • Established ERP metrics.
3.4 Build final deliverable.
3.5 Conduct a stakeholder presentation for the final deliverable.
  • Stakeholder presentation of ERP foundation.

Workshop Icon Book Your Workshop

Onsite 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 onsite delivery of our Project Workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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Search Code: 76677
Published: January 6, 2015
Last Revised: August 20, 2015

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