The importance of methodology in project implementation
During the years that we have been executing ERP implementation projects both at Emiral and in various consulting companies in the sector, we are experts in implementing ERP Sage X3 and Dynamics, and a term that was engraved in everyone’s mind is methodology.
Why the methodology is important
The Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) software is the most used in companies, due to its important advantages in the digitalization and automation of business processes in areas such as logistics, finance, purchasing, production, warehouse, etc. However, its implementation is a complex process, which requires high knowledge, experience and, above all, choosing the most appropriate methodology for each specific project.
Different types of methodologies
We found many different methodologies, although, with several common concepts between all of them:
- Project planning
- Process Analysis
These common characteristics are translated into different ways of carrying them out, appearing concepts such as:
ASAP (acronym for Accelerated SAP)
ASAP stands for Accelerated SAP. It is a methodology that SAP has developed for its software products. The objective of this methodology is to standardize the project activities 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 know the client, its current situation, the scope of the project, the requirements, distribution of responsibilities and the strategic plan.
- Implementation design (BluePrint): at this stage, the design of the solution is addressed.
- Realization: the configuration process begins, after previously testing the prototypes, to make any necessary adjustments.
- Final preparation: at this stage, the system is checked to ensure that it is working properly. In case of errors, these can be solved with less complication if the possible contingencies are already included in the plan.
- Production and support: in this last phase, training is given to the company’s professionals who will work daily with the implemented solution. In the start-up phase, they receive assistance, 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 shown in Oracle’s official website:
- Definition: is the definition and planning phase of the project. The commercial objectives that the organization has are reviewed and its viability is evaluated, taking into account the time of execution, the resources available and the budget.
- Análisis de operaciones: in this phase the project team develops business requirement scenarios based on the plan that has been defined in the first stage. The level of fit between business requirements and application functionality is assessed, and solutions are developed.
- Solution Design: different solutions are designed to meet business requirements. The project team then chooses the most optimal ones.
- Build: 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 configures the production environment and transforms the data. The professionals working in the company can already use the solution.
- Production: is the phase in which the technology consultant in charge of the implementation begins to provide support, while making improvements and starting with the performance measurements of the solution.
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:
- Diagnostic: is the initial phase, still at the moment of the 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, the processes are reviewed at this stage to clarify any uncertainties 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 will be carried out (configurations, integrations, data migration strategy, etc.).
- Development: is the stage where 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.
The Agile methodology brings together different models that aim not to stick to one product or supplier. This type of agile methodology, aims to have knowledge and flexibility when facing changes in the different moments of the implementation, in this can be included:
- Extreme Programming XP
The advantage of this methodology is in the time of execution, that is, it does not carry out the whole process in one step, but rather it fulfills objectives in a short period of time (it is known as 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 any necessary improvements are made.
What is expectation management?
Of all these methodologies you can find a multitude of books, documents and success stories, but when it comes to deciding the most appropriate one, a concept comes into play that often goes unnoticed and that on most occasions is the key to the success of the correct implementation of the project, this is none other than the management of expectations.
It is necessary to involve from the first moment to all the interested people in the project and to make participate to the rest of people (operators, directors…) and with them to clarify the scopes defined in the project and what can and cannot be approached. Usually, when making joint tests or presentations of development scope, it is found that it is not what you expected previously, or does not meet the needs. For this reason it is important that not only the implementers are working with these expectations, but it must be a more or less regular transfer of the project from the people (project managers/team of the company) to the company.
In most cases, if solutions are presented that satisfy all parties, we generate confidence in the project and involvement to move it forward. This is especially important in times of greater uncertainty in the implementation.
This is the basis that we have used at Emiral as the axis in the implementations: to clearly define what we are going to cover and not at every moment, and to approach it when we are confident that it is the best for the project.
At Emiral we know how much your company is worth, whether it is small, medium or large. Therefore, we want to offer you the best ERP management solutions to keep your business growing.