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Topics: Consulting, Information Technology, Scheduling
ERP integration
Hello all,

I have been tasked with developing a schedule for our IT department. Currently they are trying to integrate a new ERP system into the company. They are currently 6 months over schedule.

So I have been asked to develop a schedule for them to help them figure out what needs to be done and a time-frame to have the remaining tasks carried out.

Since I have never worked on an IT project before I'm very much in the dark. Would anyone be able to provide some information / direction on the different phases / tasks that are needed to integrate a new ERP system?

Thank you so much!
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Start by taking a step back from IT. Who is your sponsor? Is your sponsor invested and engaged in the change? What are the business functions that are being implemented? What new functions are being implemented versus existing functions that are transitioning to a new tool? Are business processes changing? What type of training will the business need?

The following is not in sequence.

What interfaces are needed, between systems, and do you have the right technology, for the interfaces, in place? Think MuleSoft or another ESB - enterprise service bus. Will your ERP need to connect to the web or other key systems (HR, CRM, etc...)

Does your IT staff have the knowledge or training to support the new system? Do they have the knowledge needed to implement the new system? Think installation, security, programming, configuration... Do they understand how to set up accounts and avoid Segregation of Duties (SoD) conflicts in the new system (this implies an understanding of the roles in the new ERP, and how they are configured)?

Who is in charge of the data migration plan? How extensive is the data mapping that needs to be done? You'll want to do at least a couple of practice runs and validation tests to make sure the data is imported correctly and that critical business functions work as expected.

How resource intensive is the data migration? How will production performance be impacted during the production data migration? Don't do it during peak business hours.

What type of downtime will be needed? Can you keep your existing system up until you are ready to turn on the new system, or will there need to be an extended period of downtime to avoid losing data? Do you have offices in other time zones that are affected? If yes, how significant is the difference? Will the time difference impact your go-live schedule?

How will your test environment be set up? Will it be a complete production mirror, including all systems that need to connect to the new ERP? Will you need to switch endpoints/connectors between systems because, for example, you only have one web test environment and you use it to support your current environment and validate the new system?

Who from the business is creating/executing the test cases? IT won't know how to test all of the functionality.

Here is an attempt at a high level checklist, without knowing all the details of your situation:

- what does success/done look like to the sponsor?
- understand the business requirements/needs
- understand the system capabilities
- identify the gap between what the new ERP does out of the box and what the business needs it to do (what development/configuration will be needed?)
- identify training needs - both in IT and the business, 1) to set up the new ERP, and 2) to maintain and use the ERP
- develop a test plan in coordination with both IT and the business
- data migration plan
- communication plan
- stakeholder analysis - who are they and what are their attitudes toward the change? What do you want their attitudes to be? How will you change them?
- engagement plan - how will you leverage your sponsor and other business leaders to support the change and lead those impacted by the change toward adoption?
- scope change management plan - how will changes during the project be handled? Who needs to approve what types of changes?
- cutover/implementation plan
- hypercare/stabilization plan - what type of support will be provided immediately following go live? How long will this last?
- have you held a meeting with the sponsor and key stakeholders to understand risks and their concerns about the project?
- how will you track risks, issues, and scope changes during the project?
- what type of testing will be needed? Who will perform it?
- when is the go/no-go decision needed, in relation to go-live?
- will travel be required?
- Are you using individual consultants or a third party integrator?

This is a lot, but it's not exhaustive (i.e. there's more detail). If you think of it as a business project, not just an IT implementation, you increase your chances of success. You can't just do a "lift and shift" to a new ERP.

Feel free to email me if you have more specific questions.
Kyle -

If your company is implementing a well known ERP solution (e.g. SAP, Oracle) then you should be able to leverage the expertise of the implementation partner in providing this sort of information or at least getting you a good starting point.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Dec 13, 2019 12:58 PM
Stéphane Parent
...
Absolutely! Most ERP vendors offer their own "methodology" that you can leverage: Oracle AIM, SAP's ASAP, Microsoft's SureStep, ...)
Dec 13, 2019 12:29 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Kyle -

If your company is implementing a well known ERP solution (e.g. SAP, Oracle) then you should be able to leverage the expertise of the implementation partner in providing this sort of information or at least getting you a good starting point.

Kiron
Absolutely! Most ERP vendors offer their own "methodology" that you can leverage: Oracle AIM, SAP's ASAP, Microsoft's SureStep, ...)
Thanks so much for your answers!

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