I was watching a college basketball game a few nights ago, and found myself considering the preparation and execution that goes into each and every game. In the last 3 minutes of the game, the team that was behind began the usual routine of fouling the other team’s players in order to regain possession of the ball. Possession translates to points. What caught my attention is that they forced the team that was in the lead to put the ball in the hands of their worst free throw shooter. It was strategy. Make sure the guy that is least likely to hit the free throws has the ball when we foul. Make the foul count.
Hours of practice and studying your opponents are the only way to accomplish this kind of attention to detail. Fouling that particular player was purposeful. The other team had studied and had knowledge that this player was the least likely on his team to make the free throws, thus increasing their chances of tying the game or taking the lead.
Believe it or not, ERP Software purchases and implementation should be viewed like a strategic, competitive game. There are lots of articles discussing the best ways to evaluate and purchase ERP software; however, there isn’t as much information available on implementation. Implementation is the second and most critical phase of the process. You can purchase the highest rated ERP Software, but if you have gone into the game without a plan of execution, chances are you will end up with an implementation that is frustrating, costly, and time consuming.
Before you select your ERP Software, you should examine the implementation process of your top vendor choices. Implementation methodology could actually be the deciding factor for your ERP Software choice.
Using these steps will help with implementation strategy and planning:
1. Have a conversation with the software vendor regarding their implementation methodology. Do they have an “in-house” team, or is implementation outsourced. Do they have references for their implementation team?
2. Outline the desired implementation outcomes.
3. Assign responsibilities. Be clear on the responsibilities of the vendor implementation team, and your implementation team.
4. Set milestones and goals. This step should be realistic. Setting aggressive goals that are impractical could cost you later on.
5. Be detailed. An experienced implementation team should be able to guide you through the steps and help you understand the expected outcomes for each step of implementation.
6. Have the vendor provide a detailed implementation proposal. This should outline each step of the process and break down the implementation into the expected number of days / hours for each task.
Using these steps will help you prepare yourself and your team for what is one of your company’s most important projects.
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