Implementing an ERP solution requires the attention of the entire organization. The implementation is complex, intense, and could prove to be extremely disruptive to the organization. Most implementations require the help of a Systems Integrator to assist in the effort. Even with this help, some projects cause significant disruptions to the business at go live, and for months thereafter. The notorious “performance dip” occurs when the organization does not comprehend this transition and is not prepared for it.
There is no miracle cure to an ERP Implementation. The fact is i mplementing the ERP solution will require some traditional IT fundamental project methodologies to ensure success. The company must work on project fundamentals implemented through a series of processes common to every ERP project. Examples of these methodologies are: software configuration, integration testing, deployment, and others which traditionally have been associated with IT Projects.
Also, our experience has shown us that companies will have a better project if they have strong fundamentals in the areas of Ownership, Change Management, Project Management, Communications, Training, and Knowledge Transfer.
A successful ERP implementation is more likely to occur with an integrated set of resources. These are the company’s IT organization, the business organization, and the System Integrator. The challenge is to fully achieve functional integration between these groups, insuring timely and accountable results.
The challenge is alleviated by a sound managerial and oversight approach. This involves a commitment from a strong business “Steering Team”, and an experienced resource capability for independent review, verification, and validation. For clarification, we refer to this capability as the “IRV”.
The role of the IRV is to keep the project on track, avert problems at "go live", and help the Steering Team with issues they don't have experience in dealing with. The role is very different than that of the project manager, or the Systems Integrator. The following will provide a definition of the role, the type of individual required, and the reporting relationship to the ERP effort.