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ERP Implementation Tip #7: ERP Project Planning – Plan your ERP Project Like a GPS Plans a Road Trip

ERP Project Planning – Plan your ERP Project Like a GPS Plans a Road Trip

Recently, my brothers, some friends and I decided to spend a guys’ weekend in the Catskill Mountains, in New York State.  Since I had made the house rental arrangements, I was responsible for arriving first.  Though I knew I had a 7-hour drive ahead of me, I had no idea how to get to my final destination.  So, I relied on my GPS navigation systems.  It laid out a perfect course, turn-by-turn.  Equally important, it immediately told me when I had taken a wrong turn.  My trusty GPS saved me from spending a lonely weekend in Pittsburgh!

In many ways, an ERP project plan should be used as a GPS navigator for ERP projects.  It should lay out a clearly marked roadmap – turn-by-turn – to a successful outcome.  This roadmap should include key milestone checkpoints, so that progress can be tracked.

According to our “Milestone Deliverables” ERP project management methodology, each project deliverable represents a unique milestone checkpoint.  At the conclusion of each deliverable, the project teams should stop and reflect.  The purpose is to determine whether the teams are on target with respect to budget, time and performance.  Any deviation requires corrective action.  In our experience, immediate feedback and correction mitigate implementation failure risks relating to scope creep, cost overruns and delay.

With respect to structure, a well-conceived ERP project plan should, at a minimum, include the following elements:

  • A project charter;
  • A scope statement;
  • Target dates and costs;
  • Reporting structure and staff requirements; and
  • Subsidiary plans dealing with scope management, risk management, resource management, communications and public relations.

Don’t miss next week’s ERP implementation tip.  I’ll dig deeper into the structure of the ERP project plans.

Good luck with your ERP implementation projects!

Your POV (post comments below)

  • Did you refer to your ERP project plan during implementation? Why or why not?
  • Did the outcome of the implementation reflect what was planned?
  • Were the budget and timelines accurate? If not, what areas saw the biggest deviations?
  • What planning tips can you offer?

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”. Click here to learn more. Learn about our ERP implementation services by clicking here.

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