Here are the phases that your Business Agent will take your company through as they implement BOS in your business. The successful implementation of your ERP system will be done in four phases. This overall plan will ensure the agent communicates early, regularly, and effectively with users and stakeholders to ensure the successful adoption of the integrated ERP system.
Think about if – what if you were the staff member, and you only got told at the very end of the project that the software and procedures you use to do your job every day are about to be completely changed… It’s frustrating and annoying, to say the least. At the very most, it could mean rejection of the new system and loss of productivity and profitability.
The impact of this change on both the people and the business can be minimized by the business agent implementing these four phases.
Phase 1: Face-time with users
In this phase, the business agent will create face-to-face interactions with themselves, the ERP system, and the end-users. They will get to see the system, what it can do, and how it can benefit their workday, early on in the project.
They will show how BOS will streamline their daily business processes.
This also gives them the opportunity to spot Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) who will be your super users and will help you later on with testing and training. Superusers often show:
1. Great attitude
2. Solid understanding of business processes and operations
3. Natural leadership and supports others
4. Asks good questions
The business agent will allow users to login, and work through basic scenarios on a test or demo environment.
This phase can help foster a positive attitude to the system, a productive learning environment, and helps promote a smooth and quick adoption of BOS.
Phase 2: Monthly meetings and Conference Room Pilots (CRP)
Now that the end-users know who the business agent is, and what the ERP can do, the business agent will keep that momentum going by carrying out monthly meetings. These can be on-site, or online meetings that utilise web meeting software.
In these meetings, you and your team will be provided with project updates and any other news that potentially affects the project.
What to expect for successful implementation of ERP system:
1. Users are to be separated by role – you don’t need the accountant SME to see what the Sales and Estimating SME does, and schedule times accordingly.
2. Tips will be shared on how to better use the system.
3. If the project is running behind, your business agent will let you know why. There is a great amount of work involved behind the scenes, and they are committed to delivering on the project.
4. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the call.
5. These meetings should continue until go-live.
6. Your Google Sites online documentation will be updated by the business agent after every meeting with any new process / training / customisation settings, where relevant.
Mini Conference Room Pilots
Most large-scale ERP implementations can have three CRPs (at a minimum) throughout the project. The great thing about CRPs is that they allow you to test and demonstrate business processes and system functionality while spotting any gaps between the two. Where a full CRP can take weeks, in this phase we will only do mini-CRPs. However, it is important that all users take part in CRP to ensure consistency with system testing.
What to expect:
1. This could be a conference call with screen share or an on-site CRP.
2. Invite the same people you do for the monthly meetings.
3. Only parts of the system, or business process, will be demonstrated to the users, such as how to create an estimate, or an invoice, or issue goods, or purchase order – whatever needs to be shown.
4. SME’s and end-users will be asked to work through a task on their own there and then, using the test system.
5. Finding a bug in this stage is a good thing!
6. There will be time for questions and answers.
Phase 3: Monthly user proficiency tasks
In this phase, your business agent’s aim is to keep users engaged in the ERP system – this is key to the success of final implementation.
This is not one-on-one training, rather users work through scenarios and tasks that they might typically be exposed to on a daily basis, and try to process them on the new system.
This exposes them once again to BOS’s functionality, gives you deeper insight into process and workflow, and gauges user comprehension and proficiency.
What to do:
A scenario will be set out that the user will need to complete. Access to data sheets as well as the Google Sites online documentation that the agent has created so far will be available if required. An example of a task: ‘You have just returned from your lunch break, and need to email an invoice urgently to a client. Login to BOS and navigate to the correct module to complete the task’.
Google Forms (part of Google Drive) is an intuitive application that allows for questions and answers. For the example above, the required answer could be, ‘Enter the total amount on the invoice, including VAT,’ ‘What button must you press to create an email?’, or ‘How would you update the Customer’s email address from the Invoice module: and provide choices A, B, C’. User familiarity and process testing are the objectives.
Emailed to users
The Google Form’s link will be sent to the relevant user group for completion, along with the due date for completion. Encourage users to form groups to work on the tasks together.
Review and report
Once the users have completed the online assignments, a report will be sent back to all with the results, to see if there are users who struggled or processes that perhaps require more training, along with the correct answers.
Phase 4: Final user training and roll out
Two weeks before the big go-live day, your business agent will carry out a final session of formal training of your super users. In this training, these super users will be assessed and determined whether or not they are ready for go live, and if they are equipped to give other users training on the software within their roles and responsibilities at work thereafter.
The same process as Phase 3 will be used to carry out the assessments of your super users. Any gaps in your training material on your online documentation will be updated.
After go-live, these super users will train other users in their departments, so it is imperative that your super users are comfortable, well-versed, and positive about the ERP.
Here’s to your successful ERP system implementation!
About Heinrich van der Vyver
Heinrich is the founder and CEO of QuickEasy BOS – an ERP systems company in South Africa that offers enterprise-class ERP software to SMEs all over South Africa, and the world. QuickEasy BOS offers affordable, flexible business software to business. BOS automates admin tasks, is multi-location, multi-currency, and robust enough to streamline complex business operations in every industry. BOS gives business owners much-needed clarity and control.