ERP Implementation Tip #23: Modifications, Customizations, Personalizations & Interface Projects
Despite what your IT vendor may tell you, no ERP system will be able to satisfy all of your organization’s needs out-of-the-box – it simply will be incapable of doing everything you need it to do. You might still need additional software to deliver certain functionality (for example, to perform advanced financial analysis or manage EDI transactions). Under another scenario, you might need to have the software tweaked to be able to accommodate your business’ unique processes.
Your organization’s ERP implementation needs to have a phase dedicated to delivering this non-core functionality. This phase is known as the “special projects” phase and includes modifications, personalizations and interface projects. Each of these is described more fully, as follows:
- Modifications (sometimes called customizations) involve source code changes to the ERP software application. Unless necessary, modifications should be avoided. They make it more difficult (and costly) to upgrade, maintain and support the system.
- Personalizations involve software enhancements that do not impact the source code.
- Interface projects are intended to bridge the ERP software and other applications. Bridging will be necessary when data is expected to move from one piece of software to another.
In terms of timing, we recommend that this “special projects” phase start after the conclusion of the mapping phase. After the mapping phase, the project team will know all of the customizations, personalizations and interfaces that will be required to deliver the sought functionality. The team should aim to complete this phase by the start of the integrated pilot phase. During this phase, these special projects will be tested along with the main IT application.
Having concluded the special projects phase, we discuss the IT infrastructure required to support the new ERP system and its users in next week’s ERP implementation tip.
Remember: if you have any questions about data migration 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!
- What types of special projects did your organization implement?
- Which staff members were delegated responsibility over your special projects?
- What was the biggest challenge in executing your special projects?
- Did the special projects phase run smoothly? Why or why not?
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.