ERP Software Implementation – Structure and Flow – Part 1

Hi folks – Ready for another thrilling ride on the roller coaster ride called an ERP Implementation.

The first thing that I wanted to mention is that regardless of whether you are implementing ERP or CRM or any other large scale business software roll out, the implementation process is basically the same. It is for that reason that I might use the terms ERP and Business Software interchangeably in conversation as appropriate… There I’ve said it – I have been wanting to say it for a while … and I feel better…

OK, on with the ride… Over the last 7 posts, we have been discussing the overarching Phases and Steps of an ERP implementation.

The activities at the Phase level are usually strategic in nature and revolve around resource allocation. This is top level stuff and on a day to day basis you will probably not be talking about your software implementation here.

The Phases look like this:

Phase Breakout.jpg

When you go one layer down, the Implementation Steps come in to focus and you start thinking about the implementation in a little more detail. More frequent attention is given to the project at this level… however, it’s still 10,000 feet…

Phase - Step Breakout.jpg

If you want to look at where an implementation "Lives", you should focus on the business software Implementation Elements… The  "Runway" level.

When you move below the Implementation Phases and Steps – you move away from a "Horizontal" view and go "Vertical…

The Implementation Elements are different from the Phases and Steps in that the Elements  span your ENTIRE implementation.

The 200+ Implementation Elements (when put into a matrix across all 14 Steps) weave threads throughout the entire fabric of your implementation and while the Phases and Steps move you sequentially – in linear fashion through the process, the Elements adapt to fit your exact needs in EVERY Phase and Step.

There are 15 Elements and I will discuss the first two today…

These two Elements are what I refer to as "Reference Elements" as they relate to the basic definition of each Phase / Step but are more for clarification and definition only.


 The Step Description

The first Element is Step Description and while this one is a "duh" at first blush, without a specific description of each Step, you have a critical portion of your implementation without a name – an orphan without a home – OK – Sorry – there should be NO humor when it comes to implementing business software… But I think you get the point. Think it through – give a specific description.

For example you are implementing a financials package, best of breed, supposedly compatible with your manufacturing and distribution modules. The "Description" of Step 1, the Justification of the package would simply be "Justify and Get the Go Ahead for XYZ Financials". You are generating an action statement for that particular Step.

The Step Deliverable
The second Element is the Deliverable and this differs from the Step Description

The Step Deliverable element clearly defines the completed work associated with each Step in detail.

Lets use the same financials package example.

The deliverable could go something like this:

"A financials package that has been completely justified via a comprehensive list of system, business and external justification drivers, has been presented to the Management team and has been given their full support".

Description vs. Deliverable

While at first glance, the Step Description and Deliverable appear to be the same or very similar…they are different in the following ways:

• The Description simply describes the activities involved in a step and the…
• The Deliverable describes what the step will look like when it is complete; the finished product.

While Reference Elements – Definition and Deliverable, do not require specific action, they are essential to your ongoing success.

Having a Definition and a Deliverable for each Phase Step provides you with clarity and guidance when trying to describe a step and provide you with a method to decide if you have completed that step.

Specifically, the Deliverable element is used during each Step Readiness Assessment review to determine if you are ready to move the next step.

Well, that’s it for now – until next time – Wishing you success…


This content is based on my implementation guide – The Business Software Implementation Tracker – Check it out …


About Rick


2 Responses to “ERP Software Implementation – Structure and Flow – Part 1”


Check out what others are saying about this post...
  1. […] If you have not read that post you should read it before you read this one… […]

  2. […] Part 1 – Implementation Phases and Steps Part 2 – Implementation Elements – Reference Issues Part 3 – Implementation Elements – Project Issues 1 […]

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.