As we talked about before, SAP is a new approach to data processing SaaS with a number of goals that all add up to making business data easier to work with, across the board, from every source. There are a number of different configurations of SAP available, designed specifically to handle different processes. It’s easy to assume something like the SAP ERP implementation process is going to be difficult.
In fact, it’s not at all difficult, but it is long, involved and very, very tedious. This isn’t SAP’s fault, as adoption of any new system of this scale, and implementing it from zero to functioning is always a long, tedious process like this, and it’s a costly one in time and frustration.
Yeah, SAP ERP implementation will call on several disciplines, including financial people, change management people, IT people, training people and liaisons between all of these and the stakeholders.
ISO standard documents describe this process in much higher detail and with proper step demarcations. Here, I’m going to just take you over a quick look at what all is involved in the process of implementation, and what dangers may pop up along the way. So, if you’ve seen the proper tables on this, and this looks way boiled down and simplified, this is deliberate, because those documents are too clinical to absorb.
Change and Evaluation:
These usually happen around the same time. Evaluation of the needs for adoption come in the form of requirements in costs for acquiring the software, hosting needs, downtime prevention and other such logistics about technological demands.
As this happens, change management people will come in, and bring in the new kinds of thinking needed to be positive in adopting and implementing the technology. Training on it will begin on a small scale before full implementation is done, if you know what’s good for you.
Once launched and ready, training and testing of various cases (including simulated disasters and cyber attacks) are done, where users learn how to operate the software, and its stability and resistance to disaster are quite made certain of.
This will be the longest set of stages, as testing needs to be long, and redundant, and training is a whole set of obstacles and challenges in and of itself, even if you have advanced learning and training systems like onboard software and LMS services to help you.
After testing and training, change management moves back in to make the new implementations and practices permanent parts of corporate culture, routine and policy, along with patching up any clashes with other policies that argue with the nature and standards that this software requires in order to be okay.
At this point, you’re underway with SAP, and your employees know how to use it, and it’s live and stable and doing its job. It’s a good idea to promote a corporate culture of constant learning within your employees, where they work to always learn more about the software, and become more advanced in its use.
So, the SAP ERP implementation process is simple, it’s just quite involved. And, it should be. No decision this big should be simple and trivial, should it?