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The importance of the methodology in the implementation of projects

During the years that we have been executing ERP implementation projects both in Emiral and in various consulting companies in the sector, we are experts in implementing ERP sage x3 Y Dynamics, and a term that was engraved in everyone's mind is that of methodology.

Why is methodology important?

The software Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is the most used in companies, due to its important advantages in digitizing and automating business processes in areas such as logistics, finance, purchasing, production, warehouse, etc. However, its implementation is a complex process, which requires extensive knowledge, experience and, above all, choosing the most appropriate methodology for each specific project.

Different types of methodologies

We find many different methodologies, although with several common concepts among all of them:

  • Project planning
  • Process analysis
  • Setting
  • Training
  • Testing/migration
  • Commissioning/Startup

These common characteristics translate into different ways of carrying them out, appearing concepts such as:

ASAP (acronym for Accelerated SAP)

ASAP stands for Accelerated SAP acronym. It is a methodology that SAP has developed for its software products. The objective of this methodology is to standardize the activities of the project for the implementation of the different modules of this software. It consists of five phases:

  • Project Preparation: in this initial phase, the main objective is to get to know the client, their current situation, the scope of the project, the requirements, distribution of responsibilities and the strategic plan.
  • Deployment Design (BluePrint): This stage deals with the design of the solution.
  • Realization: the configuration process starts, after previously carrying out tests with the prototypes, to make the necessary adjustments.
  • Final preparation: In this phase, it is checked that the system is working correctly. In case of errors, these can be solved with less complication if the possible unforeseen events are already included in the plan.
  • Production and support: In this last phase, training is given to the company's professionals who are going to work daily with the implemented solution. In the startup phase they receive help, and later, maintenance tasks are carried out to verify that the operation is correct.

AIM (Applications Implementation Methodology)

Oracle uses AIM (Application Implementation Methodology) to manage its ERP implementation projects. It consists of the following phases, as stated on the official website of Oracle:

  • Definition: it is the phase of definition and planning of the project. The commercial objectives of the organization are reviewed and their viability is assessed, taking into account the execution time, the resources available and the budget.
  • Operations analysis: In this phase the project team develops scenarios of business requirements based on the plan that has been defined in the first stage. The level of fit between the business requirements and the functionalities of the application is evaluated; and solutions are developed.
  • Solution Design: Different solutions are designed to meet business requirements. Subsequently, the project team chooses the most optimal.
  • Build up: the designs chosen in the previous phase are materialized and tests are carried out to ensure that the solutions developed meet the requirements set by the company.
  • Transition: is the implementation phase of the solution in the company. The project team trains the employees and the technical team sets up the production environment and transforms the data. Professionals working in the company can already use the solution.
  • Production: It is the phase in which the technological consultant in charge of the implementation begins to provide support, while making improvements and beginning with the performance measurements of the solution.

SureStep

SureStep is a methodology used in Microsoft projects for the implementation of Dynamics ERP and CRM projects. The phases that make up this methodology are as follows:

  • Diagnosis: It is the initial phase, still at the time of sale, where the evaluation of business processes and requirements is carried out. The objective is to present the client with the plan, including execution times and costs, that best suits their needs.
  • Analysis: Once the plan is approved, in this phase the processes are reviewed to clarify any uncertainty about the requirements and the planning of the work to be carried out.
  • Design: defines how the processes that have been agreed upon in the previous stage are going to be carried out (configurations, integrations, data migration strategy, etc.).
  • Developing: it is the stage in which the solution is developed and a prototype is delivered to the client.
  • deployment: phase dedicated to employee training, testing and final approval of the solution.
  • Operations: transition stage towards implementation and maintenance support.

agile

The Agile methodology brings together different models that intend not to stick to a product or supplier. This type of agile methodology aims to have knowledge and flexibility when dealing with changes at different times of implementation, which can include:

  • SCRUM
  • kanban
  • Extreme Programming XP

The advantage of this methodology lies in the execution time, that is, it does not carry out the entire process in the same step, but rather the objectives are met in short periods of time (known as a sprint). In this way, the client is involved in the project and changes can be made in real time. At the end of each sprint, the results are analyzed and the necessary improvements are introduced.

What is expectation management

Of all these methodologies you can find a multitude of books, documents and success stories, but when deciding the most appropriate a concept comes into play that often goes unnoticed and that in most cases is the key to the success of the correct implementation of the project, this is none other than the expectations management.

It is necessary to involve all those interested in the project from the first moment and involve the rest of the people (operators, directors...) and with them clarify the scope defined in the project and what can and cannot be addressed. It is usual that when doing joint tests or development scope presentations it is found that it is not what was previously expected, or does not meet the needs. For this reason, it is important that not only the implementers are working with these expectations, but that there must be a more or less periodic transfer of the project from the people (project managers/company team) to the company.

In most cases, if solutions are presented that satisfy all parties, We generate trust in the project and involvement to carry it out. This is especially important at times of greatest uncertainty in implementation.

This is the basis that we have used at Emiral as the axis in implementations: clearly define what we are going to cover and not at all times, and approach it when we are confident that it is the best for the project.

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