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When an ERP system is not delivering the expected benefits and functionality, it’s important to adopt a structured approach to identify and address the issues. An ERP system is most valuable when it aligns with the organization’s processes and goals. Successful ERP systems can enhance data accuracy and reporting, support decision making, and ultimately drive efficiency, productivity, and growth. If an organization is not recognizing these benefits, a post-ERP assessment can help.  

Key Steps in a Post-ERP Assessment 

It’s crucial to revisit ERP business components regularly to ensure the system grows and adapts alongside the organization. Below are several key components organizations must revisit or create when assessing an existing ERP. 

Guiding Principles 

These are short statements that describe core values. Following an ERP implementation, the guiding principles can help drive the governance and accountability throughout the ERP lifecycle. They outline goals for interacting with and serving the rest of the business. They aren’t static and can be modified over time. For guiding principles to have a real impact, they should be based on input from all other areas of the organization. These principles provide structure and direction.  

Process Improvement Vision 

A process improvement vision is a framework outlining the desired future state of an organization’s processes. This helps companies decide what peak performance looks like for each department and what capabilities are needed to accomplish goals. This vision will help the organization prioritize ERP enhancements, the purchase of additional modules, and any bolt on solutions needed.  

Backlog Requirements 

This details the necessary features, functions, and capabilities the ERP system must meet to support the organization’s objectives. During ERP implementation training and testing phases, additional requirements often arise. As part of the ERP implementation, the additional requirements are often left for a later phase. We recommend maintaining a backlog list of these requirements. These backlog items can be evaluated and prioritized during the post-ERP implementation assessment. This can be part of the continuous system refinement as the organization grows and updates ERP applications. 

Gaps Analysis 

In addition to the backlog, a gaps analysis identifies the differences between the current state and the desired future state of the organization. A gaps analysis is a tool for reviewing processes, systems, organizational performance, and a variety of other business components to identify issues and a resolution plan for each gap. The goal is to provide a clear roadmap for planning and resource allocation to bridge gaps between the current and future state. 

Service Level Charters 

Service level charters outline expectations for service delivery and completion and are often driven by the capabilities of the ERP solution. For example, if the ERP solution lacks the appropriate electronic workflow from the field to accounting, service level charters help identify what’s required by the field for accurate billing. Service level charters specify the work being done in each role and drive accountability for meeting expectations. Defining responsibilities and accountabilities can prevent duplication and reduce errors. 

Initiative Charters 

Initiative charters help scope and prioritize work that needs to be accomplished following the ERP implementation. For example, there’s often a myriad of reports or workflows that need to be written. Initiative charters are a mini business case and scope document containing rationalization, scope, milestones, risks, and resources for each initiative. Initiative charters are an ongoing process to be updated. 

Policy & Procedures (Controls) 

These serve to standardize operations across an entire organization. They are essential for maintaining consistency across all major processes (order to cash, hire to retire, etc.). Often, the ERP may automate certain procedures calling for a change in policy and controls. Policies and procedures are designed to provide transparency and outline the responsibilities of all parties involved in a specific business. Controls and standardized operating procedures are crucial to small and large corporations alike.  

Digital Strategy (Application Architecture) 

Organizations can leverage technology to enhance business processes, drive efficiency, and achieve organizational goals. The ERP often replaces other systems that end up lingering in the organization and costing extra license fees. Maintaining a lean applications catalog is necessary to reduce clutter and unnecessary licensing costs. Application architectures help to visualize how systems across the organization are utilized and how they interact with each other (APIs). A well-defined digital strategy aligns and adapts with the overall business strategy. 

RACI 

A RACI identifies who is responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed for each business process established in the process improvement vision. A well-constructed RACI identifies duplication of efforts and helps organizations streamline roles and decision-making. For an ERP implementation, the RACI helps define who is accountable for requesting, approving, and testing functionality updates, configuration changes and integration updates. It’s often used to ensure the organization isn’t wasting money on excess staff. 

A RACI should: 

  • Include input from everyone involved 
  • Have one person accountable for each activity 
  • Be aligned across all business functions to identify overlap 
  • Reflect changes in organization structure 

Post-ERP Guidance 

ERP systems are not a set-and-forget system—they require ongoing maintenance, administration, and updates to ensure the ERP system continues to meet the growing needs of the organization. If your organization is seeking advice regarding a post-ERP assessment, our team can help guide you in the right direction. Reach out to us at info@trenegy.com. Our post-ERP assessment guide also provides more information about each of the above and is available here. 

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