Senin, 15 Agustus 2011

ERP Software: Setting the Project Budget - Part II

In "ERP Software: Setting the Project Budget", several specific considerations were identified to assist with setting a project budget when implementing a new ERP software package. These considerations included acknowledging up-front that there would be a significant investment in consulting services in order to get the system implemented effectively and to always compare the total costs of each software package being evaluated by defining a common period of time over which the total costs of the software could be compared, such as five years. Also, it recommended conservatism when setting the initial project budget by not over-investing before the project is even started, and finally to only purchase what is needed today. In this article, three more considerations are provided in order to make sure that your organization is setting a project budget that meets the needs of your organization while also making sure that the project is completed on-time and under budget!

Create a "Top Ten" Features List: Define the absolute requirements of the new system by listing no more than 10 essential "must have" features. These "must have" features should be absolute requirements of any new system. To avoid confusion with features that are not "must haves", make a second list that is a "wish list" of features. These "wish list" features are those things that you hope a new system will have, but are not deal breakers if the feature is not available with one of the systems you are evaluating. The purpose of this is to ensure that you are investing in a new ERP system that effectively manages your core requirements and helps keep your team focused on these core business objectives as the team evaluates different ERP software packages.

Create and share the vision of the project: Define the vision of how the new ERP or accounting system will impact the organization. Share this vision with all team members. This vision should include the ways in which the new ERP or accounting system will improve efficiencies, provide for better communication with other users, vendors, and customers, or provide for better reporting and analysis of company data. Most importantly, this vision should include the approximate investment being made in the new software and how the organization is being charged by the software or consulting company for the software and related services. This is important so that the project team can make effective decisions throughout the project in terms of how the software is used and which implementation services are managed internally versus an outside software consulting team.

Be open to new ways to accomplish the same goal. If your plan is to replace your current system with a new system that mirrors your current system, then be prepared to invest substantially in customizations to the system prior to deploying the new system. Otherwise, accept that the new system will function differently and focus on ensuring that the end result is the same in new system despite the differences in how the new system works. Users are very dynamic, and despite the initial frustrations of learning a new process, they will quickly learn the new procedure and will appreciate the ways in which the new accounting system improves the process. Ultimately, this flexibility will result in a project that is completed within the budget.

Ken Sebahar helps businesses purchase and implement Microsoft ERP software in and around Chicago, IL as is the author of The Executive Guide to Implementing Accounting Software. Visit http://www.theimplementationguide.com for more information on these concepts presented above as well as over 100 additional concepts that can be used to successfully complete your ERP implementation project - on-time and on-budget.

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