Insights Magazine Volume IX - Page 23

An internal technical resource should also be appointed as the hardware and network specialist. In addition, an organization needs an internal trainer. This person must be an effective communicator with good training skills, positive attitude and a lot of patience. Finalize Project Goals and Priorities An unclear vision can completely derail an implementation before even beginning. Set project goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Determine what is needed to achieve those goals. Goals and priorities will help prevent unknown factors, conflicts and feelings of disillusionment. Determine a Strategy and Scope Implementations can either take a phased or full-release approach. If implementing everything at once, an organization should determine if all modules need to be available on the “Go-Live” day, and whether they can handle that level of change and implementation work at once. When setting an implementation date, avoid holiday and vacation times, consider any other projects being implemented at the same time, and ensure the availability of the team champion and co-champions. External resources may need to be used; the cost of this is likely to be much less than the costs of a business interruption due to a failed system rollout. Develop a Plan An implementation plan should have a realistic timeline, including who is responsible for which tasks and the expected timeframe for each. While developing a plan, it is also important to meet with the software vendor Set project goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Download a copy of “6 Signs You Should Implement a New ERP System” at brownsmithwallace.com/ ERP-signs project manager and communicate goals, strategies and approaches. All parties should understand the tasks and responsibilities expected of them. Document this plan and track it often. Ensure Open Communication Ongoing communication during an implementation project creates a constant mechanism for checking back on the development plan and ensuring everyone involved is staying on target. Internal weekly meetings among the project champion and co-champions create opportunities for discussing progress of each assigned task and any roadblocks. Plus, this is a good opportunity to make sure management is updated on progress. Meanwhile, open communication should be maintained with the software vendor for continuous feedback. As seen in the St. Louis Business Journal online edition Henry Struckel Supervisor, Business Process & Systems Group Brown Smith Wallace 314.824.5285 hstruckel@bswllc.com 21