An ERP implementation is a complicated process, and project leaders should consider creating a checklist to ensure nothing gets forgotten or left behind as the pressure increases before the go-live date.
Some examples of items that project leaders should put on the checklist include confirming that a training plan is in place and that key resources are available after go-live. Leaders can also use the checklist at the final go-or-no-go meeting to make a more informed decision about whether the new ERP system is ready.
Here are some items project leaders should consider including when building an ERP implementation checklist.
Confirm the project leader has shared the rollout strategy
The project leader must alert project team members, company employees and any third party who will use the new ERP system about the activities that will take place before and post go-live. Sharing the strategy will help everyone plan their work, whether they will be responsible for last-minute fixes and training or will simply be using the new system.
Check that the team has migrated needed data
The project leader should confirm that the project team has carried out the data migration strategy and has migrated all required data before go-live.
Depending on the migration strategy, the team may need to carry out further historical data migrations after go-live. However, the project team should figure out the migration plan well in advance of the go-live date, and the project leader should reference the migration details in the checklist.
Confirm all bugs are resolved
Before go-live, the project team should resolve in some fashion all bugs found during the implementation's final phase.
The team likely won't have fixed all bugs before go-live, but the team should review each one for criticality and create a plan to address each one. For example, the team may fix critical bugs before go-live but wait to fix minor issues until the next implementation phase.
Put a training plan in place
The project team may offer some training before the ERP system is live. However, the checklist should include a reminder to the team to confirm that they have prepared the planned training, they have assigned trainers to lead the necessary training sessions and they have notified the employees that will need to attend training.
Check that project communications are ready
A project team usually sends out formal communication about the ERP implementation shortly before and after go-live. This communication should be ready to go before the launch.
Communication about the project may include a note on the company intranet, an email to employees and phone calls to any third parties that will use the new ERP system, such as external vendors.
Confirm the team has configured the production environment
Sometimes, the project team carries out an ERP implementation in a sandbox environment then replicates it in a production environment for after go-live. In this case, the project leader should confirm that the team has completed every step for this, including setting up any custom forms and reports, configuring the database and connecting the necessary interfaces.
The leader may also want to check the production system for any test data before go-live.
Check resource availability
The project leader should confirm that key resources such as implementation team members, the ERP software vendor and any implementation partners will be available to support the new ERP system post go-live.
Employees will likely have questions as they start using the new system and may run into issues, so these resources will need to be available to address any potential problems immediately.
Complete a list of basic sanity tests
The project leader may want to ask the team to run through a list of basic sanity tests to confirm the ERP system is working as expected. Tests to carry out can include running a few queries, creating a test entry to confirm that picklists are working and users can save data, and asking a few employees to log in to confirm they can access the system.
The team should of course have already carried out more thorough testing. These tests are only to confirm that the basics are working.
Review project schedule
If the project team is using a project management application for the implementation, the project leader can add a reminder to the checklist for the team to review the application's list of outstanding tasks and confirm that they are closed off or are known exceptions.
Limit access to old ERP system
The project team should ensure that employees won't be able to add new data to the old ERP system after a certain point. The team may do this before the final data migration or shortly before go-live.
This task typically involves changing the role that employees use to access the old system, since some workers may still have read-only access for a period of time after go-live.