ERP Implementation Strategies
An ERP is a huge undertaking regardless of the type or size of your organization. There are many decisions that go into an ERP implementation, one of which is your go live strategy. The “big bang” strategy is where all of the main modules of an ERP system go live throughout the company in one day. Before the go-live date, systems are checked, staff is prepared, trial runs are performed, and organizational adjustments are completed. The alternative approach is to adopt some level of phasing, regardless of whether you do this by region, country, site, line of business, or by business priority. In a phased approach, an organization rolls out one part of the ERP system at a time, beginning at the core and then deploying additional modules in phases. This type of approach is common in large organizations. For many organizations, you need to weigh the pros and cons and decide what works best for your business.
Some risks of using the big bang theory include:
- Its more difficult to revert back to old system should something go wrong
- The increased risk level corresponds to more risk to the business also. Failure in one place can affect other areas
- Full testing is harder to achieve since you are doing it all at once vs. in pieces
- The IT Department and ERP Consultant get strained with the large amount of go-live issues occurring at once
Some cons to phased approach include:
- Need for some temporary interfaces and since these are difficult to achieve, they bring a high risk of failure.
- And to pile a con on a con, temporary interfaces are costly to implement and have no long term value, meaning they are simply a stopgap measure.
- Rework may be required if assumptions made during earlier phases prove flawed when later phases are implemented
- More interruptions to business on multiple occasions and the longer you disrupt business, you can bring about negative consequences
- Increase staff burnout and loss of focus, mainly from your ERP project team or IT staff
Big bang projects can create a sense of urgency for the entire organization and build a level of momentum that can be difficult to achieve in long-running phased projects. However, a phased approach can lead to quick wins, which provides confidence and helps in selling the advantages to the rest of the business. Your organization needs to work with your ERP Consultant and decide on an implementation strategy that best fits the needs of your business. 2W Tech is a Certified Epicor ERP Consultant and can help your organization achieve success with your next ERP project.
Choosing the Right ERP Solution to Support a Global Business Whitepaper
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