We are planning a major enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation initiative. Our ERP vendor has one idea of how long it should take -- but I'm trying to create a more realistic estimate. What factors should I look at in order to develop an accurate ERP implementation timeline for this project?
Most ERP vendors estimate six to nine months for a "technical" implementation. Their plans usually consist of: installation support, data migration, technical training and go-live support. A more realistic time frame for a successful ERP implementation is 12 to 18 months.
When I analyze ERP implementation plans, I look for these elements:
- ERP team structure definition
- Communication planning
- Risk management
- Governance and control
- Data migration
- Training strategy
- Risk mitigation
- Business simulation
- Gap analysis
- Process testing
- Cutover strategy
- Transition planning
- Go/No-go decision
- SOX/Regulatory compliance verification (where applicable)
- Legacy data archive and system de-commissioning
These are just a few of the tasks that should be in a comprehensive ERP implementation plan; however, they are key elements, and if I don't see them, it would raise a red flag.
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