The Readiness Process and its Importance to ERP Implementation
The readiness process is critical to the implementation process of Enterprise Resource Planning System in a business. This is because; this stage assesses all the activities and tasks. It also indicates the areas that need the attention of the system developers before the “Go-Live” date. The readiness process ensures that the Go-live will progress smoothly without hindrances or threats that the organization will retreat to its old legacy system. This process is critical in ERP implementation as it assesses the date when the new system will Go-Live. The process also makes sure that the users are adequately prepared for the new system.
Project Areas That Need Assessment in a Readiness Process
There are different project areas that need to be addressed when in the readiness process. Some of the project areas include the infrastructure areas, configuration and development. Testing of the new system is a project area that should be assessed in the readiness process. This will be essential in alerting the system developers if the system is ready for use. The testing is also critical in revealing areas that will pose a challenge to the users of the system. Training also needs to be assessed during the readiness process. Knowledge transfer from people who are already conversant with the system is essential in ensuring that the right people are involved in the training . This particular project area is paramount as it will be a platform of making new people conversant with the operations of the system. Conversion, operation and central command testing are also important project areas that need and require the attention of the system developers in the readiness process. Users also need to be assessed in the readiness process. The users will be assessed for readiness and capability, as well as the expectations they have for the new system. Conclusively, all project areas that comprise the entire project require to be assessed in the readiness process.
Stabilization Timeframe- What to and What not to Include
During the stabilization timeframe, the ERP system has already gone live and is in operation. The time frame since it’s go-live and when the system fully stabilizes is known as the stabilization time frame. This period can last from a minimum of 60 days to 90 days. It is during the stabilization timeframe that many businesses perform poorly. This is accredited to the authenticity that the company is not used to the new system, and before the business adapts fully to the system, it will make some losses. There are notable occurrences in this timeframe. All the processes that were just mere plans are put into use. Some processes may be new to users and may cause confusion. In this stage, quality of work produced is low, and performance of the system is in most cases lower than it was anticipated. A number of the activities that should be integrated with the stabilization timeframe are questions that the users might have about the project. Any perceived shortcomings and system stability ratings should be areas of interest that can be included in this timeframe. Various things that should not be included in the timeframe are any kinds of developments or enhancements made to the system.
Knowledge Transfer –Significance in Long-term Stability of the ERP System
Knowledge transfer is critical in enhancing long-term stability of the system. This is because it helps in reducing problems that users may encounter when moving from the implementation stage to the production stage. Smooth transition is a key requirement in the implementation of the system and knowledge transfer comes in handy in ensuring this happens. In most cases, teams change as phase change. This is mostly in the stabilization and Go-Live stages. These two stages are critical in any system, and people with knowledge are required to maintain the system even in the long-run. Therefore, for Enterprise Resource Planning system to be successful and maintain its expected ratings in the long-run, knowledge transfer has to be conducted.
Post-production support-Areas to Address
Post production support is very essential in the implementation of a new ERP system. The purpose of post-production support is to manage the daily operations of the system. The support also ensures that the system is undertaking and pursuing all the functions and issues it ought to undertake. The implementation of the system may be considered a failure if there is inadequacy in the post-production support. Some of the post-production support that is available to the system implementation process may include employment of subject matter experts who may be incorporated in providing the needed support, as well as answer questions that pertain to the system. It is, therefore, essential that the post-production support be enhanced so that risks will be minimized, and the ERP will not be considered as a failure.
There are five fields that are tackled in the post production support. One of the most crucial areas is training. Training should be done before the system goes live and starts being operational. The training should not stop there. After the system is in use training is essential as it assists the users of the system to gain expertise and become more conversant. The second are is data validation. This area deals with the authenticity of all information that is flowing through the system. This area tests the users’ proficiency in the system and is essential in gauging how well the users understand the system. Go-live support is the third area that should be addressed in the post production support. This area occurs when the users require assistance about the system. Data correction is the fourth area and this area updates destroyed, not up-to-date and obsolete data to the system. The last area is the updating the system with new features, and this entails improving the system as a whole.
Training before the “Go-Live”
In this training session, the users will be taught on the functional processing of the system. This will include learning all the transactions and businesses processes that the users are expected to perform in the system. Training them on how to handle unexpected occurrences in the system will be particular areas of concern. Before the “Go-Live,” users need to know the basics on how to handle the system. Training will also involve coaching the new users on how to maneuver through the system knowledge transfer from the administrator to the users is an important aspect in the training that is held before the ‘Go-Live.’
Training after ‘Go-Live’
In this training session, the users of the system have had experience with the system. Training is, therefore, not on how the system works but on how to improve and make best out of the system. Here, end users are trained on the most efficient ways of cutting costs when dealing with the system. Information accessibility is also an area where users of the system are trained on after the system has gone live. Consumers of the system are trained on how to retrieve information in the quickest way possible and are also educated on how to act in response to system shutdowns and breakdowns . This after ‘Go-Live’ training is essential in identifying the areas that require support. These areas should be rectified, and users trained on how to handle similar cases.
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