Setting up your ERP master plan is an activity that goes hand in hand with setting up a IT strategy in general. An ERP master plan is a roadmap, helping you to align your ERP initiatives with business priorities. It allows you to carefully plan for the long term and evaluate your business process needs and priorities before allocating time and resources.
In addition, an ERP master plan helps you to:
- Plan for the implementation of improvements
- Keep control over the costs
- Mitigate the risks of failures and disruption to your business
There are many ways of setting up an ERP Master Plan, the common denominator though is creating a clear view of your requirements and following up with planning and execution. Next, a periodic review is necessary in order to make sure that requirements are met and those new requirements are taken on board.
In detail, the steps for creating and maintaining your ERP Master Plan are the following:
- Describe your business objectives.
- Define how long these objectives are valid.
- Define the stakeholders, meaning all people involved.
- Review the existing ERP implementation and identify the gaps or inefficiencies.
- Make a list of processes implemented and determine the remaining lifetime of your implementation.
- Based on the review (4) and the remaining lifetime (5), determine the priorities for the coming 2 – 3 years.
- Identify the skillset, knowledge, and number of people you will need for supporting your business processes and ERP.
- Allocate people and budget and consider how to align with your IT strategy and Business Strategy in general.
- Assess your constraints and limitations in terms of skillset, knowledge, and people.
- Define exactly how to implement improvements within your business.
- Make sure there is a proper portfolio and project management in place. Set realistic timeframes and milestones for your implementation projects.
- Make sure there is a framework in place for maintaining your implementation on a day-to-day basis. Proper Key User support and Master Data Management are key here.
- Decide on KPIs to monitor your ERP implementation over time and implement these, preferably directly from the system. A Digital Boardroom can tremendously help here, keeping the ERP implementation on the agenda.
- Periodically review your ERP master plan and update accordingly.
If done correctly, an ERP Master Plan can help growing your business and making it more efficient. One thing to remember here, is that it is your people that have to use the system. If your people fully accept and embrace the processes and the system, improvement and growth is much more likely realized.