You’ve chosen your software, you’ve strategized the rollout, you have integrated all functionalities – it’s time. As you evaluate your progress on the eve of go-live, it’s important to consider the last few steps to make sure your team is set up for success.
Believe it or not, a majority of ERP failures are due to go-live readiness, or lack thereof. Regardless of the specific software, your team has chosen to implement, here are the main areas to button up as you approach the big day.
Test, Test, Test
Testing is the single, most important element of preparing for go-live. There are three pillars to testing that you should always include in your preparations.
- Test both functional and nonfunctional scenario requirements
- It’s time to get creative and introduce scenarios that could cause problems. Your goal should be to break the system and find holes that might come up once your greater team is utilizing the new software. Make sure to also test the requirements, system architecture, and really every corner of the software as best you can.
- 3×3 Rule
- Just like there are 3 pillars, you will want to test everything 3 times. Depending on your tech specifics, you may need to test more. If your software is to be integrated with another software, those data flows need to be tested multiple times. Each time you make a change to the code, you need to test it multiple times. Yes, this sounds tedious, but this carries the ability to make or break the success of your digital transformation.
- Create test environments that mirror the actual scenarios the system will be utilized for By emulating software functions from an end-user perspective, you will be able to utilize real-life situational scenarios that the new system will have to accommodate. This is referred to as behavioral or black-box testing, and it touches on the user acceptance and functional aspects of the software. This will surface different types of issues – unlike white box testing that focuses on code structure, internal design, etc.
Make sure you have a strong data plan
It’s very common for companies to have issues with data at go-live. Data migration is a multi-pronged task that needs attentiveness from every angle to make sure the transfer of data between systems is seamless. Now, the transfer of data may sound simple on the surface, but understand that it includes, but is not limited to, all of the following elements:
- Data cleansing
- Data validation
- Data mapping
- Data access protocols
- Data exports
It’s important that these elements are thoughtfully considered and addressed. In our experience, many companies brush over these pieces. They deprioritize the deeper, subsurface elements of data migration when it’s often one of the biggest obstacles of an ERP Implementation.
Prepare for anything
Anyone who has lived long enough knows that life just doesn’t go accordingly to plan sometimes. This is applicable to your software implementation as well. You can do your due diligence, cover all your bases, and still run into a hiccup at the time of rollout. That’s why it’s important to have a contingency plan in place, acting as your safety net at go-live.
Keep an ongoing plan of how to support the software beyond just going live. You’ll need to know who you should contact in case you need help, how you will contact them, and at what point you pull the plug and bring in a third party for help. Simply being prepared will not only bring ease of mind to the rollout, but it will help mitigate the ‘deer in headlights’ factor if something were to go wrong.
Third Stage Consulting is always here to answer your ERP planning questions and needs. Contact us if you would like a sounding board for the next steps in your project.