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ERP Implementation Tip #16: 4 Steps to Effective Walkthrough Presentations

Tip #16: 4 Steps to Managing Walkthrough Presentations

The walkthrough phase is analogous to a play rehearsal.  The core team members are the actors and each department’s “to be” workflows collectively represent a play scene.  The project manager takes on the role of play director.  His job is to make sure that the core team members do effective workflow presentations and that each workflow (or scene) transitions well to the next.  In other words, the project manager is responsible to ensure two goals, as follows:

That each department’s core team members effectively demonstrate to the rest of the core team how the new IT system will be incorporated into their respective department’s workflows; and

That departmental choices relating to business processes and systems do not conflict with the choices made by other departments.

To achieve these dual purposes, we recommend the following 4-step structure to walkthrough presentations:

Step 1 Preparation and Delivery

The focus here is on business processes, not on systems training.  Though some system screenshots will inevitably be necessary, the bulk of the presentations should focus on the “to be” process flows.  In terms of preparation work, the substance is largely derived from the “to be” process maps as set out in the blueprint whitepapers (read my tip on blueprint whitepapers here).

Step 2 Workflow Approvals

The entire core team is responsible for approving the workflows of each functional department.  A full team approval process helps the team reduce the number of potential inter-departmental conflicts and helps it to identify missing inter-departmental process tie-ins.

Step 3 Blueprint Whitepaper Updates

The blueprint whitepaper drafts need to be revised to reflect the changes made during the walkthroughs.

Step 4 Gaps & Issues Database Updates

The Gaps and Issues Database needs to be updated to reflect any unresolved issues that become apparent during this phase.

The Walkthrough Presenetation is the first time that the project team has rehearsed the “to be” process flows.  This rehearsal, however, was still entirely based on the theoretical materials contained in the blueprint whitepapers.  No testing on the system has yet been done.  Not to worry.  With the completion of the walkthroughs, the project team is now ready to move from theory to reality.

In next week’s ERP implementation tip, I will drill down into the conference room pilot (CRP) phase; the first of three ERP testing phases.  In the CRP, the core team will test the most frequently used business scenarios on the actual ERP system.

Remember: if you have any questions about the Walkthrough Presentations in particular or on your ERP implementation project in general, feel free to contact our ERP experts.  We’re happy to help.

Good luck with your ERP implementation projects!

In this series of weekly ERP project management tips, we walk you through an ERP implementation project using Pemeco’s “Milestone Deliverables” project management methodology.

You can buy our project management book and CD of template forms “Milestone Deliverables: The Hands-On Approach to Implementing ERP Projects” here.

Want to avoid ERP implementation failure?

Download The CIO’s Guide to Preventing ERP Implementation Failure.

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