Choosing a new ERP software package is an infrequent occurrence for an organization. But when this need arises, it is imperative that a proven, complete methodology is utilized to select the right ERP package that meets the needs of users and administrators throughout the organization.
What the right methodology must do
What does the methodology involve?
Sirius’ methodology for ERP migration follows structured yet flexible steps that accommodate the different requirements, budgets and sizes of our clients, while maximizing the likelihood of a successful ERP transition. The steps include:
Mission statement: Document the trigger and reasoning, as well as any directional statements from the team on why the current software solution is being replaced.
Team construction: Executives, line of business owners and technical members must all be part of the process.
Scope initialization: A high-level and functional scope document is created for the project, describing how the goals of the mission statement are to be met by the team. It is a non-technical document that is strategic in nature. It should list no more than 10 items.
Preliminary vendor pass: This is strictly a paper exercise, and is the first gate the prospects must pass through. Initial product reviews and discussions occur. Some vendors may be eliminated from contention at this step.
Readiness assessment: The team will address the issue of how prepared the organization is for a new ERP package with regard to:
- Process maturity
- Staffing and training
- IT technical and infrastructure.
The assessment is normally completed through surveys and questionnaires, as well as personnel interviews.
Model the TCO: This is the second gate the prospects must pass through. It is a rough-cut look at the vendors that were approved in the preliminary vendor pass. Costs for infrastructure, implementation, training, support and documentation, and all the services necessary for execution and ongoing ownership are looked at as part of this step.
Tactical requirements: This is the step where the organization goes from the functional to the specific. They will capture existing processes, build them into specifications, and pass the right level of detail to the vendors.
Solution specification: The RFI or RFP for vendors is developed and distributed, containing all the tactical requirements and specifications for the new ERP solution. It is constructed using data that has been previously decided upon through the methodology.
Potential vendors: The team will identify potential vendors based upon their measured responses to the solution specification in the RFI or RFP. The measurement will be objective and quantitative, as well as subjective and qualitative.
Short-listing: From the potential vendors chosen in the previous step, the team picks a few candidates (typically two or three finalists). These candidates will perform onsite demonstrations and conduct site visits. The team will complete score-carding, finalize their due diligence, and review all of the integration methods.
Selection: If the team has successfully navigated the above methodology, they will be ready to make a decision. At this point, one solution usually stands out as the clear victor, but sometimes the finalization of selection process needs to be debated among team members before the choice is made.
Post: The work is not over for the team just because a selection has been made! Additional steps such as negotiation, deployment planning, implementation, testing, training, documentation and support decisions still need to be completed. But ERP solution implementation is a wholly separate project.