The Importance of the Analysis Phase during your Microsoft Dynamics ERP Implementation

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This is a rewritten version of an older blog post. As the information is still relevant today, we decided to revisit some of our older content and update it.

When implementing any new system or module, the analysis phase should always be your first step. During this phase, your organization and your implementation partner will define the objectives and phases of the project, as well as identify any gaps, to ensure everyone involved understands what the project entails. In other words, the analysis phase provides a blueprint for the project as a whole. As a result, everyone should have a clear understanding of your organization’s needs and criteria, and the steps needed to achieve them.

In other words, the analysis phase is crucial to avoid the situation described by this classic comic print:

Original image source unknown

The purpose of the analysis phase

The main purpose of the analysis phase is to define a clear scope for your ERP implementation. This will help differentiate priorities from “nice-to-have” features that are not necessary to meet your project goals. These are often to blame for delays and budget outruns. The analysis phase will also help identify any gaps between your needs and the system, and whether third-party solutions or custom developments will be needed to bridge those gaps. Afterwards, you will have a much clearer understanding of what to expect and eliminate the risk of unforeseen situations.

Organizations are often tempted to skip the analysis phase to reduce project costs. However, the more that can be defined and clarified at the start of the project, the more time (and money!) you will save in the long run. Indeed, upon completion of the analysis phase, you will not only decrease the number of change orders and modifications needed, but also increase the user adoption rate of your new ERP solution.

How to ensure the success of your analysis phase

Involve the different members of your team early

By asking for feedback and suggestions from end users, you will have better insight into the actual needs of your organization’s various departments. This will help you identify the priorities and objectives of the new ERP system and how to make sure the implementation succeeds. Moreover, by involving the members of your team from the very start of the implementation project, they will also be more open to the upcoming changes.

Make sure your vision aligns with your partner’s

The analysis phase ensures everyone involved in the project is on the same wavelength and that its scale and scope are well understood, from your organization’s core business goals to desired features and functionalities. This reduces risks of miscommunication or misunderstandings, ensuring the process runs smoothly and tasks are completed efficiently.

Be open to change and challenge the status quo

The way you’re currently doing things may not be the best way to move forward. Evaluate your current processes and see if things could be done differently. Be open to your partner’s suggestions: they have experience in your industry, after all, and should be aware of current best practices and help you benefit from them. Your end users may resist change in the beginning, but they may be the ones who will benefit the most from a reengineering of your processes.

In conclusion, don’t cut back on the analysis phase of your ERP implementation to ensure the project starts on the right foot. Always inquire about your implementation partner’s methodology and how they manage the analysis phase of an implementation project. A typical analysis budget may take up to 10 or 20% of the total project completion time, so make sure you understand how this part of the project will be handled.

To ensure the success of your ERP project’s analysis phase, read our eBooks Ensuring the Success of an Implementation Project For Your New Business Management Solution and 9 Questions Nobody Asks Their ERP Partner… But Should.

By JOVACO Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics ERP specialists in Quebec

 

About JOVACO Solutions

JOVACO Solutions is a leading ERP and CRM solution provider operating for over 35 years. As a specialist of Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions, we offer a wide range of products and services to meet all the needs of professional services firms and project-based organizations. We also offer specialized project management tools and timesheet add-ons fully integrated to Microsoft Dynamics solutions. Visit our website or contact us for more information.

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