In today's fast-paced business world, time is one of the most valuable commodities. For many companies, implementing an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a crucial step in optimizing time by streamlining operations, increasing efficiency, and improving overall productivity. However, ERP implementations are a complex process that requires careful planning and execution. To ensure that your organization gets the most out of its ERP system, it's important to take productive steps before the implementation process even begins.

With over 98% implementation success, Algorithm has it down to a science. In this article, we'll give you some of the key strategies that can help you maximize your time and ensure a successful ERP implementation. From identifying key stakeholders to mapping out business processes, these steps will help you make the most of your ERP investment and achieve your business goals.  

What is the first step after the contract is signed?

Selecting and implementing a new ERP system is a significant task, and once a contract is signed, clients often wonder what the next steps entail. Once the contract is signed, it's time to start preparing for the planning phase of the implementation. The first step is for Algorithm’s Sales team to prepare a comprehensive handoff document detailing the entire sales process, including the decisions made during each phase and the reasoning behind them. The sales manager will then schedule a “meet and greet” call with the client Project Manager providing an initial introduction to the Algorithm project manager. During this call, Algorithm’s project manager will provide general team introductions, talk about the general timeline and objectives of the implementation and advise on the best practices for project readiness. The meet and greet meetings are designed to address any current project concerns, ensure the client that the services team is ready to initiate, and provide a "project ready checklist "to best prepare the client team for the start of the project. At the conclusion of this meeting, the sales manager's involvement is reduced, and the PM becomes the client's primary point of contact.  

Project Teams are Chosen

The first critical and required step is for your company to select a Project Manager (PM) who will be responsible for overseeing the implementation process and will be the main point of contact during the project. Your PM will then choose Team Leaders and Subject Matter Experts for each department impacted by the implementation. This project team will be responsible for managing the implementation process and will be devoting a not insignificant amount of time to training, designing, building, testing, documenting, and deploying the new system. Their goal will be to ensure that the ERP system successfully meets the needs of the organization.

Consultants Discovery

On Algorithm’s side, the PM will assign a team of consultants who will work closely with the client project team to understand the organization's business processes, identify areas for improvement, and work alongside the client team to configure a system that achieves the desired business goals. This work begins with the Discovery. The Discovery sessions are conducted on-site over a 2–4-day period depending on the extent of the project and discovery is one of the most important steps in the ERP implementation process as it provides an opportunity for the Algorithm team to gain an in-depth understanding off all relevant facets of a customer’s business. To ensure that the Discovery phase is successful, it's important to provide the consultants with access to all relevant documents, users, systems and data.  Encouraging your entire organization to be as open and detailed as possible will result in an implementation that is immediately tailored to address the real needs of the business.

Project Charter is Created by Project Manager.

Once the Discovery Phase is complete, it's time to create the project charter. The project charter is a document that outlines the scope of the project, the timeline for implementation, and the roles and responsibilities of each team member. It also includes an overview of the business case for the ERP system, including the expected benefits and ROI.

The project charter is developed by the Algorithm Project Manager using the information gathered from both the sales team and the discovery results. It will be the foundation of the project and will be formally presented in the Kickoff meeting. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the plan reflects the needs and priorities of the organization. It should be approved by your senior management before the implementation process begins.  

Importance of Customer Data Cleanup Prior to Implementation

Before the ERP implementation process begins, it's important for the customer to complete those prerequisite tasks detailed on the project-ready checklist. This includes tasks such as legacy data cleanup, as well as any needed infrastructure upgrades. Cleaning up your legacy data can be an onerous task, but it is much better to spend the time and effort to clean up the data than to struggle throughout the implementation trying to migrate bad data into your new system. Completing these tasks before the implementation process begins will help to ensure that the ERP system is implemented smoothly, without any unexpected delays or issues due to unreliable legacy data.

Successful ERP Implementation

Implementing your new ERP system will be a complex and challenging process, but with careful planning and execution, it can be a highly successful investment for your organization. By taking productive steps before the implementation process begins, such as identifying key stakeholders, establishing a project team, and completing a data cleanup, you can help to ensure that your ERP software is in the best state of readiness to meet the specific needs of your organization and that it delivers the expected benefits and ROI.

In conclusion, maximizing your time and resources before ERP implementation begins is essential to ensure a successful outcome. By following Algorithm’s strategies outlined in this article, you can optimize your ERP investment and achieve your business goals. So, take the time to plan, involve your key stakeholders, and work closely with your consultants and project team to ensure that your ERP implementation is a success.

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