Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chosing your team & customizing your software

Today, the first part of the course was focused on the ERP options, or the choices to be made before starting to implement it.

First, the implementation team is to be chosen. It must be a mix between in-house and outside staff. The team is made of functional technical experts, a project manager, the key managers from each departments, some trusted employees and a champion. The four last categories are made by internal staff. They are principally the future users of the ERP, the people in charge of the implementation, but also some facilitators who will help the project to be correctly accepted by the employees.

Then, we must choose the level of customization we want. Two types of configurations are possible: technical & processes. The first one consists of adapting the software to your processes and consequently, makes some changes inside the table or the codes of the modules. The second one consists of making your processes fit with the features of the ERP, so the way the employees are doing business will deeply change. Obviously, the prior step of every configuration is the selection of the appropriate modules you want to include in your ERP.

As we are talking of implementing an ERP, here is the point of view of Derek Slater (who apparently is a US teacher) on ERP projects. Maybe David Newlands has read it before giving its courses ;-)

"ERP Implementation in 10 Easy Steps

Ask the board of directors for an arbitrary but large sum of money. (Suggestion: $300 million.)

Give half the money to consultants. Ask them to select an appropriate ERP package for your company. Consultants will audit your business processes for six months and then select SAP, which they happen to resell.

Form cross-functional implementation teams. Hold meetings.

Reengineer all your business processes to match the software's model.

Give the other half of the money to consultants.

Install the software.

Train end users repeatedly.

Cross your fingers.

Turn on the software.

If you're still in business, immediately return to Step 1 because it's time for an upgrade."

Derek Slater

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