ERP Development is crucial when it comes to tailoring your chosen software to your businesses’ specific needs, thus ensuring you are able to make the most out of your ERP system going forward.
The problem many businesses make though, is that they simply draw-up a wish list and pass this on to their internal development team, or a team of external development consultants they have contracted to carry out the work.
To ensure your ERP developments are going to be fit for purpose and have a positive substantial impact on your business, you need to take the time to prepare and include all the relevant stakeholders within your business, all the way from the initial idea, through to testing.
Here are several steps you can take to help ensure your next ERP development runs smoothly:
Find a team you can trust
One of the keys to having success with your ERP development is finding a team who you can rely upon. If you can trust them to deliver on their promises, there’s a much better chance everything will work out as planned.
This goes hand in hand with communication. If you can’t get a hold of your developer, or if they aren’t giving you the answers you need, there could be a problem.
Clarifying expectations with them from the outset can help ensure you can rely on them to deliver what you need.
Determine exactly what you need
Don’t present your development team with a half-baked plan. They will be developing your application based on your specifications, and if you leave anything to chance, the result may not be what you expected. The developer is acting on the information you provide them with.
Therefore, it is imperative you create a detailed list of specifications and lay them out in a document. Whether it’s data samples, process requirements or timeline expectations, the more information you can provide the better.
Understand the needs of your users
Ensure that your development team has conversations with the people responsible for using the system.
It’s not uncommon for developers to only talk to executive level people. While this is a good starting point, it doesn’t take the end user into account.
The software should be developed to reflect the needs of those who will be engaging with it.
Provide reliable data
Give your developer access to reliable data (i.e. not just “test data” to get a sense of how it will all work). If the data is a good reflection of what you’re using now, there’s a better chance the development will work as expected. Additionally, you’ll be able to see how the application reacts when it’s been fed data that is inputted incorrectly.
Don’t leave the testing to just the developer
It’s a given that the developer will test the software to ensure its stability. But you must also test it. Those who will be responsible for using the ERP development must also test it.
Ensure that it is capturing data correctly. Also, check to see that all your needs and specifications have been met.
Commit to the process
Successful ERP development requires a commitment to the process.
As already noted, you will need to find a skilled development team, offer them a detailed list of specifications, talk to various members of your team and provide real world data. Success relies heavily on buy-in from the end users.
Recognise that building the right ERP solution requires both a time and financial commitment. If you know this upfront, you’ll be less likely to balk at the costs or effort involved later. Follow through with the process though, because it is ultimately a rewarding one that will more than justify the financial and time outlay.
You may be eager to get your ERP development in place as quickly as possible to solve the issue you are having. Therefore, planning might seem like an extra step that wastes time. But the opposite is true. If you don’t plan and communicate clearly, you’re going to be spending more time and resources than you originally planned on.
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