Top Five ERP Upgrade Tips
When it comes to enterprise software, upgrades are a necessary evil. However, there are some ways to avoid the pain associated with upgrades. Here’s my top five tips.
Planning is key
Upgrades need the same level of planning as the original implementation. Just like a full scale plan, an upgrade plan needs to consider the team, testing, training and support. You’ll need to look towards the future to consider changes in your operations, business model or other issues that need to be addressed in the upgrade. Failure to plan can greatly increase the time needed to implement and ensure that personnel embrace the new functionality.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Upgrades need to be done on a regular schedule. If you wait until you’ve outgrown your system, it’s going to be a painful and expensive journey. The worst case scenario is to start over from scratch and attempt to implement a completely new system all at once. Take the process in stages to limit disruption to your business.
Get the troops ready
One of the most common complaints from companies who reach out to me is that their people simply will not utilize the new features they’ve implemented. The key is training – before, during and after the upgrade. People resist what they do not understand.
Lead from the top
Top management should be visibly involved in the process. This support from the top will significantly improve the chances that employees will embrace the changes. Showing that management understands the challenge, is part of the process (even participating in the training along side subordinates) shows they are committed to change.
Get some help
There is much more to ERP upgrades than I.T. duties. Having a veteran (employee or consultant) with many installs under their belt will considerably speed the process and make for a smooth transition.
The one thing you can count on in business (and software) is that everything will constantly change. How you manage this change can be the difference between expensive fire drills and smooth growth.
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