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ERP Project Completion Checklist

Strategy & Planning Tool

Introduction: How to Use This Tool


ERP projects involve a lot of different steps. Most enterprises will use the implementation methodology promoted by their consulting partners. Use the following checklist of required activities if you either dont yet have a consulting partner or to validate their approach. Add and delete tasks as they apply to the organizations situation. For additional information on the tasks refer to the linked resources and tools.

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Task Description
The first step in an ERP project is identifying the need. There must be some trigger for the process. Common triggers include: Lack of scalability of existing technology systems. Need to move off legacy systems such as mainframes. Limited planning visibility of existing systems. Excessive cost for maintaining existing systems. Emerging compliance concerns. Strong executive support for a particular initiative. Existing ERP package is no longer supported by vendor. A crucial early step in the ERP project is establishing a project team. It should include the executive sponsor for the team and have representation from the business units that will be affected by the project.

Deliverable
A statement of direction and initiative.

Exception

Complete?

Establish project trigger

Form the project team

Create a team list and append it to the extant project documentation

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool The project team will have an important role in both scoping the project and ultimately in product selection. The size of the team will change as the project progresses. During the early stages of the project it will consist of a Steering Committee to guide decisions and distribute responsibility. As the scope of the project increases, so will the size of the project team. For guidance on creating the selection teams, see Establishing a Selection Committee for Enterprise App Projects. The third step of an ERP project is to come up with a rough set of requirements. These are not detailed requirements but should identify functional goals for the project. The preliminary requirements draw from the identified trigger and perhaps expand it. Common requirements for ERP systems relate to strategic goals around system scalability, analysis and planning capabilities, or data visibility. These requirements may be fulfilled by a packaged solution or may require custom development.

Perform high level scoping

An initial project scoping document that identifies preliminary goals. The document shall be limited to 5 to 10 key project goals. Where possible, the goals shall also include numeric objectives (e.g., Reduce time required for financial consolidation to less than 1 business day.) Refer to OptimizeIT resources on Project Prioritization, particularly the Project Charter Creation Template. Amend the scoping document to include verification that packaged applications

Ensure that a packaged application/tool can meet preliminary requirements.

The fourth step is a process gate. IT managers must ensure that tools are available that will meet the preliminary requirements. Case studies and client

If packaged applications are not available to meet preliminary

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool testimonials from vendors are valuable for establishing the feasibility of meeting the preliminary requirements. Packaged applications may not be available to enterprises in narrow industries with niche requirements. Even if packaged solutions are available, they may not be appropriate for a particular enterprise. Solutions may involve a great deal of technical and process complexity. Enterprises must ensure that they either have the appropriate resources in place or are willing to acquire or build those resources. Common aspects of appropriate assessments include: Staffing and training. Does the enterprise have the right technical staff or can it develop that staff? Capability of infrastructure. Will the existing infrastructure support the initiative or will it have to be expanded? Maturity of processes. Does the enterprise have the appropriate processes in place to support the technology initiative? ERP projects, for example, require some process sophistication to account for changes in business processes and security concerns. A second process gate involves checking the approximate cost of the project. If the preliminary requirements can be met by a can meet the preliminary requirements. Include examples of customer testimonials as appendix material. Include an appropriateness assessment with the project scoping document. Use Info-Techs ERP Readiness Assessment. requirements, either revisit requirements or initiate a custom development initiative. If the enterprise is not sufficiently sophisticated for the technology, either revisit requirements or initiate a plan to redress those aspects of the enterprise that are lacking.

Assess organizational readiness

Determine approximate cost of project

Complete Info-Techs ERP Rough Cut TCO Calculator.

If the approximate cost is

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool set of products but those products are excessively expensive, then the enterprise must reconsider either requirements or approach. A manufacturer with $10 million in annual revenue, for example, will not likely be able to afford a solution requiring a capital budget of $5 million. Deliverable: perform a rough cut cost assessment and include the estimate in the project scoping document. Cost estimates can be established through conversations with enterprises of similar size and industry or via various research tools. After establishing that packaged solutions are available that will meet the preliminary requirements, and that the enterprise can afford those solutions, it is time to begin project planning. An important part of the project is to prepare a business plan that explores the potential benefits of a particular solution and how they will affect different parts of the organization. It should explore market dynamics and include both an opportunity assessment and recommendations. The business plan is a valuable tool for negotiating among the various stake holders within an organization. Moving from project objectives to a tactical plan requires the creation of functional requirements. They must identify what the system should do and, ideally, how it should be done. These requirements will ultimately change as the project progresses but team members need to baseline prohibitively high, reconsider either the preliminary requirements or the project justification.

Complete a business plan that articulates potential benefits. The business plan must be approved by enterprise's senior leadership. Use Info-Techs ERP Business Case Template.

Develop a business plan for the project

Prepare preliminary requirements

Create a set of requirements and append them to the project documentation. Use Info-Techs ERP Requirements Template

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool required functionality before assessing vendor offerings. The degree of detail for preliminary requirements will vary depending on the company. Some enterprises prepare detailed requirements in an effort to actually capture existing business processes and gain some insight on how to change those processes. Too much detail, however, can actually hinder both vendor selection and implementation as the project team evaluates solutions against requirements that are unnecessarily onerous. for Business Unit Managers to elicit requirements from relevant managers. Validate the collected requirements with the ERP Task Work Log for Subject Matter Experts. For additional guidance and templates, refer to the Info-Tech Solution Set Overcome the Barriers to Good Requirements Management. Prepare a solution specification. Use InfoTechs ERP Solution Specification Template.

Create a solution specification

A solution specification is a way to compile information from different stakeholders into a single document that will then form the basis of subsequent activities such as building the RFP and demo scripts. The solution specification is an interim step that preempts extensive late-stage revisions of RFPs and scripts. For additional guidance, see A Solution Specification Simplifies Software Selection. The next step is to identify potential suppliers of packaged solutions. This long list should include considerations such as solution architecture, functional requirements, and vendor reputation. The list should be compiled in consultation with the project team. The vendors must be compared in a

Append the project planning document with the list of vendors.

Identify potential vendors

Prepare RFP

Compile an RFP and

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool consistent manner. The RFP presents an opportunity to ask questions that reflect requirements to potential vendors. The completed RFPs should then be assessed with consideration of both the requirements and the business plan. Many enterprises tend to be over-specific in their RFPs, resulting in relatively poor responses. Focus the RFP on those requirements that are absolutely crucial for meeting the requirements of the project trigger. For additional guidance on creating an RFP, see Crafting the RFP for Enterprise Applications. The project team must evaluate the RFPs to determine which vendor presents the best potential fit for the enterprise. The shortlist process should primarily consider the functionality of the products. Shortlisted vendors should conduct a product demonstration at the enterprise's site. The content of the demonstration should be scripted to a certain extent by the enterprise. Scoring of the demonstrations should happen immediately upon the conclusion of the demonstration. For additional guidance on conducting demos, see Master the Enterprise Application Vendor Demo and Building Demo Scripts for Enterprise Application Selection. The demonstration process will likely result in a very short list including only a few distribute it to potential vendors. For standard letters and templates to communicate with vendors, see ERP Vendor Selection: Standard Letters.

Shortlist vendors

Conduct demonstrations

Append the shortlist to the project planning document. Invite vendors to conduct a product demonstration. Compile a demonstration script for the vendors and create a scorecard to be used by members of the project team to evaluate the demonstrations. Info-Tech offers a generic vendor score card: Enterprise Apps Demo Scorecard. Conduct a due diligence assessment for preferred

Perform due diligence on vendors and system

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool vendors. The analysis must now shift to confirming the ability of these vendors and their integration partners to successfully complete the project. Due diligence can include: Assessment of financial stability. Reference checks. Site visits. Trips to vendor conferences and user events. Info-Tech resources on due diligence include: Due Diligence: Don't Sign an Apps Contract Without It, Perform Due Diligence on App Vendors to Avoid Unpleasant Surprises, and Guidelines to Assess the Viability of Private Vendors. A finalist must be selected from the final list of qualified vendors. This selection can be informed by the project team but must ultimately be made by the project sponsor, often the CEO. Send formal notification of the selection to the chosen vendor. Append project justification in terms of the business plan, requirements, and due diligence process to the project plan. Finalize a contract. vendors. This assessment can include reports of reference checks and site visits.

integrators

Select vendor

Negotiate

The final purchase price and contract terms must be negotiated with the vendor. This process ultimately results in a signed contract. Info-Tech resources on negotiation include the content bundle IT Resource Management: Vendor Management

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool Negotiate Contracts and the note, Top Negotiation Strategies to Cut Costs on IT Contracts. The implementation process begins with the creation of detailed deployment plan. The preparation of the deployment plan will occur in conjunction with the vendor and the implementation partner. The plan must include consideration such as: Staffing and resourcing. Functional and technical design. Change management. The requirements and system modifications must be implemented through a series of staged releases. Each release involves testing and the preparation of business users. As with the preparation of the deployment plan, implementation is a significant and iterative task that involves many different parties. One component of the implementation plan is testing. It can involve a variety of different strategies including unit testing, functional testing, system testing, regression testing, and acceptance testing. It is an iterative and ongoing task. For additional guidance, see the Info-Tech Solution Set Develop and Improve your Software Testing Strategy. An unused enterprise application will drive no return on investment. Business users are integrated into the implementation through training. It can be the responsibility

Create a set of detailed requirements.

Prepare deployment plan

Append an implementation plan to the overall project plan. Refer to Info-Techs ERP Project Planning & Tracking Tool. Develop a testing plan to supplement the implementation plan.

Implement

Test

Train

Compile an end user preparation plan and include it with the overall project plan.

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool of the vendor, the integration partner, the appropriate business unit, or even the IT department. For additional guidance, see How to Develop an Employee Training Program and Training the Business User: Models and Plans. A number of tasks occur even after the implementation is completed. Some of these tasks will be the responsibility of the initial project team. This postimplementation work is omitted by many enterprises but it provides an opportunity for project review. These considerations include issues such as: Business case reconciliation. Project post mortem review. Ongoing support for the implementation. For additional guidance, see The Importance of Conducting a Post Implementation Review. <Enter Task Here> <Enter Task Here> <Enter Task Here>

Append a plan for postimplementation support to the main project documentation.

Post-implementation documentation and support

ERP Project Completion Checklist


Strategy & Planning Tool

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