How to Make Sure Your GP Project Keeps Moving Forward
That magic moment has arrived: your Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation is complete. You are prepared and ready to take advantage of the new ERP power at your fingertips, and Microsoft Dynamics GP is poised and ready to deliver the value that you promised your executive team.
Three months later, your team is waist-deep in work. Reports are overdue. Trial Balances are not balancing, and the aging report that the CFO wants on his desk every Monday morning is still sitting on the printer. Worse yet—all of those invoices and receipts you were going to manage in GP are stuffed into an inbox on the wall next to you.
Maintaining the momentum of continual improvement is hard work, and many organizations struggle to have the enthusiasm and passion they had before and during an implementation project. The dynamics and collaboration that were present during the implementation are often replaced by the urgency of day-to-day work and other priorities that demand your full attention. Don’t worry—this is normal.
Implementing an ERP system like Microsoft Dynamics GP is an opportunity to take that next step—to not only replace what you do today but to achieve greater value. When you think about an ERP system other than email, no other system has the power to reach out into an organization and touch every facet of your business the way that GP does. It has the power to influence, either positively or negatively, each and every employee in a meaningful manner.
Exhaustion is understandable, and change is notoriously difficult. So how do organizations recover from an implementation in a meaningful way and still continue to evolve and grow?
Maintain Visibility to Your Goals
Whether it’s a phase-two integration with your e-commerce tool or making use of an EDI solution to facilitate your work, post your goals at your desk and refer to them in your monthly status reports. You can even put them in your department plan. Keep those goals alive so that your team and management have them in their sight and therefore, their thoughts.
Hold Regular Status Reports
During the implementation project, your project manager probably held regular, weekly status reports. It’s a good idea to maintain these updates even after the project is over. Hold them monthly or quarterly—the key is to continue to report and communicate about recent improvements, needs and gaps, training and usability.
Champion Your Champion
Do you remember that executive or senior manager that fought for the investment and cleared all the barriers for your project? That person is still there, and if they were supportive before and during the initial project, odds are they understand a longer term vision for what can be done with GP. Maintain the relationship and keep them aware of how the continued effort to move the Dynamics GP project forward is going. He or she might even be able to relight the desire to move the organization to achieve the next set of goals.
Schedule Product Checkpoints
As part of your closeout, schedule a quarterly checkpoint with the key stakeholders of the project. Include managers or leaders from organizations that could benefit from future integrations or expansion in the use of the system. Measure your success and review the performance and value that the organization has realized to date. As part of the review, discuss the list of future opportunities and the status of those initiatives. Keep this steering committee alive to help drive the next round of improvements. It’s a product that needs care and feeding—keep asking yourself what’s next for GP in your organization.
Analyze, Analyze, Analyze
Research suggests that most GP users are only leveraging 30 percent of the capacity of this system. I know some companies that run a SWOT analysis on their ERP system every year to help boost those numbers. It’s important to comb through every use, every function and every element of how your company is using GP. This can help you identify new possibilities (new ISV applications, for example, or benefits that could be gained by moving GP to the cloud) as well as threats to the system (misuse, mismanagement, or members of the team in need of training).
Leverage Your Resources
Your partner or VAR is more than just the person you call when you need new software or licenses. This person can assist you in a number of ways to help you in developing and executing a strategy for success. Nothing drives your partners more than the ability to help you be successful and achieve your goals. From integration packages to connections to key add-on applications, their job is to know how to make you work better than you do today. Schedule a periodic meeting to keep up on changes in the Dynamics world and learn about new ways Microsoft Dynamics GP can help you improve the performance of your small- to medium-size business.
Want to learn more about moving your Dynamics GP forward? We’re happy to chat—contact us today.