Transform your ERP solution

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Background

The scale of an ERP transformation makes it inherently complex

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions sit at the heart of an organisation’s back office, driving transactional data and processes across many different business units, for example Finance, HR, Supply Chain and Procurement.

 

Organisations are undergoing ERP Transformations, moving to the latest vendor Cloud ERP solutions and leveraging the increased levels of automation and best in class processes that these systems provide. The scale of these transformations makes then inherently complex, and it is critical to mobilise thoroughly and then deliver with rigour and control.

How to

Six steps to your ERP Implementation

There are several key stages to an ERP Implementation.  Project One can work by your side at each stage, providing the expertise and support required to make your transformation a success:

 

  1. Up-front concept and feasibility. This is a crucial first step to agree the ambitions and outcomes of the ERP transformation. There will be some big questions to answer, for example, is this a cloud-based or on-premise solution? Are you implementing the ERP software as-is, or will you be introducing some level of customisation? At this stage, it is critical to define the business case for the change and to define a high-level roadmap. A senior business sponsor also needs to be appointed, to ensure this is a business-driven transformation, and not an IT project.

 

  1. Programme mobilisation. Once the high-level parameters have been set and approval gained, then the project team can be established, along with robust governance to control decision making. One of the first activities will be to select which ERP solution/vendor to progress with, by executing a well-managed Request for Information (RFI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Alongside this, the team will need to document the as-is processes for the in-scope business units and also map out the future state. If this is a transformation of significant scale, then a systems integrator is also likely to be required to run the delivery phase – they will also need to be selected. At this point the roadmap will need to be drilled down into more detailed project plans.

 

  1. Delivery. ERP Transformations will have many issues and changes in direction. Incredibly strong customer-side control and drive is required, and this can only be provided with deep expertise in complex programme management and supplier control. There will be multiple suppliers to manage, and the change impacts will be across multiple business areas. It is imperative to establish and then run a governance PMO engine, who drive the key delivery processes and establish ‘one version of the truth’ reporting and decision making. This phase will drive delivery through build, system testing and user acceptance testing through to go-live implementation.

 

  1. Business Change. In addition to driving the solution delivery, focus is required on managing the business change. ERP Transformations will not be successful unless the impacted people are bought into the change and are supporting its success. This will require significant stakeholder management across the organisation and the setting up of a network of change agents to facilitate the changes in the individual areas. This will drive the required process design as well as the general awareness and training. Communication across many different channels will be required to drive this successfully.

 

  1. Architecture and Data. Running alongside all of the above stages is the need to have dedicated focus on IT architecture to ensure that the solution lands within the current IT estate and all interfaces are identified, and the approach to integration is agreed. Alongside this, it will be essential to define the data approach, for example, for any data migration required or to determine the data archiving strategy. These are key items that need to be addressed up-front in any transformation so they don’t impact the project plan later.

 

  1. Post go-live support. Due to the complex nature of the change, the project will need to supply post-go-live support to help embed the new systems and processes into live operation, both on the IT and the business process side.

“The cutover went very smoothly which is testament to the preparation and planning put in by Project One.”

Global Retailer
Programme Director

Involvement

Who do you need to run an ERP Transformation successfully?

Your ERP Transformation will require several specialised roles. We can help you fill these:

 

  • Programme Director: Driving the transformation, sometimes ‘two-in-the-box’ with a customer to ensure that knowledge transfer is progressed and all aspects covered.

 

  • Design Authority Lead: Acting as the police for the business and technical solution, ensuring the solution remains true to the original ambition and outcomes.

 

  • PMO Lead and analysts: Running governance and control so the right decisions are made based on one version of the truth and running all of the required programme processes.

 

  • Business Change Lead: Controlling business SMEs and change champions across the organisation to drive engagement and adoption and to land the change.

 

  • IT Lead:  Acting customer-side to hold Systems Integrators and Vendors to account, ensuring optimum behaviours and driving activity as per contractual obligations

 

  • Other workstream leads:  For example, to ensure testing, data and cutover are well planned and executed.
top tips

Six top tips to drive a successful ERP Transformation

Project One has delivered some of the largest and most complex ERP Transformations in the UK.  We know what works and what doesn’t, and we can share our views on how to set your transformation up for success.

 

  1. Engage a business transformation mindset from the start, with strong Exec sponsorship and subject matter experts ring fenced. This will prevent the ERP transformation just being seen to be an IT Project and will ensure that the relevant business areas are bought in.

 

  1. Agree the ambition, outcomes and clear scope up-front.  Don’t let your  ERP transformation grow ‘arms and legs’ through its life, or you will never finish. Instil the right disciplines and stick to a clear scope and you will drive success.

 

  1. Start early; moving to SAP S/4HANA or Oracle Fusion, for example, will take time. These are generally multi-year journeys, so you need to plan on this basis. And if you have a soon to be out of support legacy product, then get moving fast. Act now to secure a successful ERP Transformation.

 

  1. Perform a well-managed product and delivery partner selection and take time to ensure a good cultural fit. Systems Integrators with the required ERP skills and specialism are in demand. You need to act now to ensure you get a good enough team to deliver your challenge.

 

  1. Focus on the data and the deployment challenges. From our experience, it is often data issues that derail a transformation in its later stages, so plan early and build the required activity into your project plans.

 

  1. Mobilise thoroughly, establish robust governance and control, sticking to scope and driving to each milestone. A well-formed and efficiently run PMO function will give you the control needed and will enable the right decisions to be made at the right time for your ERP implementation.

 

At Project One, we have worked with many customers to shape up and mobilise ERP transformation journeys, such as HR transformation and finance ERP transformation. We use our independence to facilitate selection of the right solution and integration partners, driving delivery from your side and making sure the resulting solution lands well into your business.

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