ERP System Implementation Plan. Key Phases

ERP System Implementation Plan. Key Phases

An ERP implementation plan is determined by the size and industry of your company, its budget, and the ERP suite you plan to deploy. However, despite all the differences between the implementation processes of ERP systems across organizations, there are several key phases that are usually the same. More details are described in this article.

Planning and Analysis

Implementing an ERP system, especially a suite as complex as Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management, requires thorough planning. This phase is about defining project goals and objectives. A company should also set a timeline and assemble a project team.

Not all ERP systems offer companies flexibility, however, Microsoft software allows enterprises to select exactly the modules and features they need. Therefore, this phase also involves assessing which features meet the company’s needs and should be implemented.

To do this properly, you also need to analyze the capabilities that your ERP system offers and focus on those that can optimize the company’s efficiency and productivity.

Design, Development and Data Preparation

Before you implement your ERP suite, you need to customize it according to the requirements of your business. Some of the components you may need to customize include data models, reports and forms. Furthermore, you may also need to develop custom integrations and customizations for the system.

Keep in mind that the more customizations you introduce into your software, the more testing will be required before and after implementation.

Data preparation is also an essential step in this process. You must ensure that the data used by your software is up-to-date, accurate, and free of duplicates. The quality of the data determines the accuracy of the work of the entire ERP system.

Testing, Deployment and After-Go-Live Maintenance

As mentioned above, testing is required both before and after system deployment. Testing helps you assess whether your organization’s requirements are being met by the existing configuration and your system performs according to your expectations.

The process of deployment depends on the distribution method of your ERP system. For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management is available in on-premises and cloud versions. The first option requires a physical installation and additional work to set up the necessary infrastructure. The second option eliminates this effort, as the system can be accessed directly through a web browser and is also available on mobile devices.

Once you have set up your system, you will need to run tests to make sure the software works properly after the data migration. At this stage, you will also need to ensure that users are trained to use the ERP system. Take care of scheduling regular testing, as some software, such as the one from Microsoft, includes regular updates that can interfere with the performance of your suite. Also, prepare troubleshooting procedures to ensure successful ongoing maintenance.

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