What are your post implementation goals?

LeahMcGuire

We have had a couple of posts recently about implementation best practices (here and here) so the topic of the latest APICS Extra article I received via email caught my attention (Achieving Successful ERP Implementation After the Go-Live: APICS Extra Vol. 4 |  No. 8 |  August 26, 2009). It also has some great take-aways that are important for any consultant, project manager or ERP implementation member to know.

What goals should we adhere to in order to ensure success after go-live?  Too often, so much focus is spent on ensuring an ERP implementation project is delivered on time and on budget, team members (and management) lose sight of the importance of how progress is made and issues are dealt with post go-live.  Everyone in the organization wants to be re-assured that the dollars spent and time expended (often in the millions and thousands respectively) to get a new system up and running was worth the effort and that once go-live is achieved, the momentum remains to progress and close out issues that arise in a timely and effective manner. But we all know that there are never any issues once a project goes live, right?

Here is the list of goals that were cited (see the article for full descriptions). Whether a seasoned project veteran or a newbie to projects, it is great food for thought as you embark on your next ERP Implementation project.

Key team members must be able to achieve the following goals:

  • Maintain a positive attitude.
  • Use effective stress management.
  • Keep close contact with the user community.
  • Eliminate the use of parallel systems.
  • Employ easy and effective escalation and issue reporting.
  • Choose correct problem categorization.
  • Be flexible, open, and prompt when responding to change.
  • Have strong configuration management.
  • Develop an effective knowledgebase and learning loop.
  • Apply appropriate training.
LeahMcGuire

Leah McGuire joined Kinaxis in January 2008 as an Integration Consultant where she works closely with customers during the RapidResponse deployment phase.

With a degree in Business Administration-Materials Management, she’s worked in the Supply Chain industry for ten years in a variety of roles, from Material Planner at Warnaco to Business Analyst and Senior Production Planner at JDSU to Operations Manager at Solace Systems. During her tenure at JDSU she was an active member of the Oracle ERP implementation and several Lean Manufacturing “Kaizen” initiatives and while at Solace Systems was responsible for implementing MS Dynamics Great Plains.

More blog posts by Leah McGuire

Discussions

  1. I think you forgot two – one, effectively manage expectations of the senior stakeholders and two, stay employed.

  2. In my opinion it all goes back to selecting and training the right implementation team members in the first place and then setting reasonable and proper goals and expectations for the team and senior management prior to starting implementation. We all know that just because a specific individual may be the technical expert or system user it does not automatically make them physically and mentally tough and flexible enough to be an appropriate team member. It’s really not worth it to have heart attacks, nervous breakdowns plant shut downs and lost customers during and after implementation just because some senior manager, consultant or team leader didn’t do their job properly up front.

  3. One of the major items that I would consider is about setting original business goals for the implementation. This set should consist of (current) difficulties to overcome or new opportunities to overcome. Main reason for the implementation is to make necessary information available to correct users. If this information is available after such implementation, users will feel that their effort and money is justified.

    Second step would be a clear cut definition of measurement of success. Final business results is the best guide here. Once again, a verifiable goal here is useful. This goal helps to avoid number of expectation gaps.

    If these steps are done correctly, major mishaps an expectation problems at the “rubber meets the road” stage will be avoided successfully. These are really key indicators for ensuring a successful implementation.

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