What is next after ERP go-live?
After months of planning and preparation, the big day has finally arrived. The big ERP go-live date is here! While it may be tempting to dust your hands of this project and move onto pastures new, your work isn’t over yet. In fact, your next steps following an ERP implementation are crucial to ensuring your new system’s future success.
In an ideal world, transactions would be flowing smoothly through your new ERP system. The reality is not so problem-free. Industry research suggests that 40 to 60% of ERP implementation failures are down to data migration issues. And these issues are one of the first things you’ll see following go-live.
Avoid data migration issues by prioritising testing. If users have only interacted with your old data, any issues that existed before the new system could cause errors in the new interface. User acceptance testing (UAT) and automated testing can help to pick up these common data migration errors before too many stack up and cause more problems than you can handle.
If testing more often and following tighter procedures can help you reduce the likelihood/impact of data migration issues, does that mean you should test every possible scenario? No, because it’s impossible to test all scenarios.
While it’s true that a lack of thorough testing can lead to data migration issues, there are many possible scenarios. Testing all of them will mean that you’d never go live! It’s normal to have an acceptable amount of issues before you go live.
You must test your key business processes. UAT should cover these. However, automated testing can take this one step further. It may require some time, effort and resources upfront to set this up but it means you can cover a lot more bases every time you need to test.
And in terms of those pesky post go-live data migration issues, you may be able to minimise their impact
You must ensure application security is addressed early on and often within the project. It shouldn’t be an afterthought. Why? Because if your ERP go-live date arrives and you haven’t prioritised application security, you may experiences issues related to compliance, access and auditability.
The main issue is because you end up elevating people’s permissions above what they should have. And as we all know, it’s much harder to remove access than it is to grant it. It’s always better to give users the bare minimum to begin with.
It’s easy to assume there’s something wrong with the new system when a particular process isn’t working as it should. But can you recognise whether it’s a system error or a user error?
In other words, is it actually the system that’s not working or is it because people aren’t using it as they should?
The UAT process helps train users up. It allows you to see whether they’re following the correct processes. Conduct UAT and automated testing side by side and you can see whether the errors are a system error or a user error.
User errors can easily snowball into a flurry of problems that ultimately impact the success of your new ERP system and the organisation. So, it’s important you reinforce best practices among your key users and stakeholders ahead of go-live as well as after it.
Does this tie into change management and getting team buy-in?
Yes! Aligning stakeholder mindsets and gaining buy-in is something you should be starting before go-live. It should also be something you continue to work on post go-live.
One best practice organisations should follow ahead of a change/transformation project is to gain senior management/leadership buy-in. It’s a top-down approach, after all.
But, what tends to happen is that these senior leaders and directors step back from the project as it unfolds. You’re left with the middle management and everyday users who weren’t so bought into the project. And not keeping them engaged can be detrimental to your project’s success!
For example, it can lead to resistance, people not using the system as they should or going back to old ways of working…
Make sure stakeholders from different levels see what’s in it for them by way of meetings, workshops and a variety of tools such as rich pictures to align their mindsets
ERP go-lives rarely happen without a hitch. But the right MSP can help ensure it’s as smooth as it can be. At NaviWorld, we not only have expertise in ERP implementations but we also offer multi-tiered services to help you get more from your new system, following go-live.
For example, we offer ‘on-going support’ so the consultants who worked with you on the ERP implementation will continue supporting you for the first month or so, alongside our customer operations team. This ensures a smooth handover between the implementation and customer operations teams.
We also strive to keep our customers’ Dynamics platforms as ‘evergreen’ as they can be. For instance, if you have Dynamics 365 (D365), we will help you manage the release and update process so you can maintain control and minimise downtime.
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