Your ERP Implementation execution is about to kick off! In the first post in our three-part series on the steps needed for a successful ERP implementation, we introduced you to the first two phases:

  • Initial Phase: Focus is on laying the ground work and making fundamental decisions that will provide a strong foundation for the future.
  • Planning Phase: Setting a baseline to measure against to determine the success of a project while taking into consideration all known constraints and making provisions for unknown issues. 

After establishing the implementation plans and properly allocating resources to the project, the team initiates the ERP implementation plan execution into action. This phase emphasizes actively executing the deliverables and goals outlined during the planning phase, strictly adhering to the established baseline. Given that even the best-laid plans may face unforeseen obstacles, it becomes crucial to incorporate effective controls. Consequently, these controls facilitate the continuous monitoring of the project’s progress, ensuring it remains aligned with the baseline.

The key objectives of the Execution Phase include:

  • Creating and implementing deliverables outlined in the project plan,
  • Communicating updates to all project stakeholders with respect to progress and any deviations, 
  • Documenting, approving, and controlling all changes to the project plan against the baseline.

This phase involves numerous moving parts, necessitating meticulous attention to detail. However, if the project plan is clearly defined, the primary focus must shift towards ensuring that design, configuration, and change management are effectively controlled.

Communication is critical to ERP Implementation Execution

Your enterprise and its implementation partners must establish a clear and structured communication plan. This plan is crucial for the success of this and other stages. Given your significant investment of resources, time, and money, you rightly expect a smooth ERP delivery. Such a delivery meets milestones, manages scope in detail, and protects your budget and investment.

Indeed, adopting a new business system poses challenges but promises substantial, positive transformation for your enterprise. We’ve found that successful ERP implementations benefit greatly from practical and insightful change management. This approach fosters a positive environment, encouraging understanding and embracing of innovation.

A few best practices to consider include:

  • Leadership communication is pivotal. Firstly, updates from the CEO or C-suite underscore the ERP system’s significance to the enterprise.
  • Secondly, maintain clear, simple communication. Focus on the business impacts over technical achievements, ensuring messages resonate more effectively.
  • Additionally, diversify communication methods. Utilize email, instant messaging, video calls, and platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams for clear, prompt exchanges among team members and stakeholders.
  • Finally, overcommunicate! By keeping stakeholders and employees well-informed, everyone stays engaged and aware of current and upcoming developments.

Change management 

Effective change management is essential for a successful ERP implementation. It centers on communicating changes and offering all involved parties chances for practical experience with these changes. To make these practice sessions fruitful, we must develop and roll out a comprehensive training plan for all system users.

A recent report by WalkMe with respect to change management found:

  • Organizations integrating change management meet their objectives 47% more often than the 30% that do not incorporate it.
  • Change initiatives succeed only 34% of the time.
  • Every two to five years, 79.7% of people must adapt their business.
  • Past transformation initiatives did not achieve the desired outcome for one in three CEOs.
  • Burnout crises affect two-thirds of workers, leading to further transformation failures.
  • Workplace stress contributes to 8% of national healthcare spending.
  • By 2025, projections show the digital transformation market reaching $1,009.8 billion.

Managing change can be tough, but ensuring agreement on what factors most influence transformation initiatives will reduce problems.

Practical Tools and Techniques for ERP Implementations Execution

Understanding the importance of the control and execution is half the battle, the other half is having the tools and techniques to support your organization.

  1. Project Management Software: Tools like Microsoft Project, Asana, Trello, and JIRA help in tracking project schedules, resources, tasks, and progress.
  2. Gantt Charts: These provide a visual timeline for the project, showing when tasks are supposed to be done and their current status.
  3. Earned Value Management (EVM): This technique measures project performance and progress in an objective manner, combining measurements of project scope, schedule, and costs.
  4. Resource Allocation Tools: Tools to track the allocation, utilization, and availability of project resources, ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively.
  5. Critical Path Method (CPM): A step-by-step project management technique to identify tasks on the critical path, helping managers prioritize tasks that must be completed on time for the project to finish on schedule.
  6. Agile and Scrum Techniques: For projects following an Agile or Scrum framework, techniques such as sprints, scrum meetings, and backlogs are used to manage work in short bursts and adapt quickly to changes.

Using these tools and techniques, project managers actively monitor project progress during the Execution and Control stage. They also manage changes, ensure quality, and address risks effectively, guiding the project to successful completion.

In part three of this series, we’ll conclude with a look at the details involved in the Closure Phase and final stage of the project that brings your ERP implementation to a close.

To help you understand and learn more about the Execution Phase and how to improve your ERP implementation, download our complete guide or drop us a line, so we can discuss your needs further.

About the Author

Irenae Jacobs