Migration is when people move toward a goal they perceive as better. One form of migration is the movement to an ERP system that will better help us achieve our business goals. A successful migration is more than a nomadic wandering hoping to find a better pasture; that successful migration will have a specific objective and a carefully planned path. Here are six steps that will help your business:
Your ERP requirements are the foundation of your migraton plans. At the end of the journey, those requirements should be met completely. You should have a list of requirements with priorities in a sequence of importance that everyone involved agrees will enable your business to continue meeting your customers’ needs as well as those of other stakeholders.
You should also have categorized other wants that weren’t imperative but “nice to have” additions. These should be factors that will help your business or some subsets of the business but the needs were of lesser importance or you had workarounds available that would suffice.
You should have a detailed plan to move from your current status to the end of your migration. This plan includes dates and milestones so that you can monitor your progression. There are many steps to be taken and data migration is among the first.
The new ERP system must be populated with data and much of that will come from your legacy systems. There are several categories of data and each will use different techniques. Fixed data includes basics such as your tax ID number and address, as well as your customers’ and suppliers’ names and addresses and related information. Start by identifying where these data will reside in your new ERP. These residences will be fields within tables.
Next, find the same data elements in your legacy system and prepare a map detailing that table 1 and data A in the new system will come from table 14 field 23 in the legacy system. Determine if any data must be converted – such as a date that might be in one format and must be transformed to a different format. There will be data validation rules in the new ERP that must be followed or temporarily removed during your data migration. These rules might require that one table must be populated ahead of another or perhaps the dates in one table must be earlier than the dates in another.
Document the data migration process and track the time required for each step. Your data migration will be done several times during your upcoming testing and again just at your final go-live date. Testing might alert you that some part of your initial data plan must be changed in some unanticipated way.
If you haven’t started yet, now is the time to communicate. This is an enterprise project and everyone is involved whether they are a user or not. Let everyone know why the business is migrating to a new ERP system and what the expectations for the business are. Ideally, there are benefits to all users but even those who experience no new benefits will gain when the enterprise as a whole benefits (think profit sharing possibilities).
Communicate when the project will begin and when you expect it to end, what kind of hardships users might experience during the course of the project and who will be doing the work. Most importantly, address whether anyone will lose their job because of these changes before the rumor mill has a chance to start working overtime.
Your communications at this time are only the beginning. Make a pact with your employees now to keep communication flowing throughout the migration.
It’s time to hold a kickoff meeting where the migration teams get their assignments, along with some encouragement and praise for the work on which they’re about to embark upon.
Populate your new ERP with data from your legacy systems and begin testing simple transactions in teams from from each department. Later you’ll test multi-stage transactions. Grade each test with a simple status and investigate those that didn’t work properly or failed.
Testing is an iterative process – fixing one problem can lead to a new, unexpected issue. Single transaction testing will lead to tests that combine several transactions in an overall process. The final testing stage will be far more complex and include things such as taking a customer order, buying and making a product, shipping it to the customer, collecting the payment, paying suppliers and employees and creating an income statement. As you progress through the testing process, you’ll find the data migration from your legacy system will need to be updated many times. Repeated imports allows for practice and improved import techniques. This is helpful as you’ll want to know exactly how to manage the importation at go-live, and how long it will take.
Migrating to a new ERP will cause stress for your employees, the implementation team, your customers and suppliers. Helping all of these stakeholders manage the change they see or anticipate is important. Ensure that each person receives adequate training for the new ERP system.
You should anticipate that some of the change is overwork as people try to keep up with their jobs in the legacy system and prepare for their jobs in the new ERP system. Try to help as much as possible to keep stess from reaching a critical level for any department or individual.
Go-Live and Evaluate
This is where the migration project begins to end. Testing is complete and users have passed their training.
Your team has set a specific time of a certain day when new transactions into the ERP will begin and a few hours earlier, your IT people stopped your legacy systems from any new transactions, with data switched to read-only mode. The final data migration started and it should be completed well ahead of the go-live moment.
Once go-live occurs, it’s important to review your ERP requirement list again. Does the new ERP actually meet all of the requirements? Add up the value of the benefits and compare them to the actual costs of your migration. Be sure to document the project for reference later.
Are you ready to start your ERP migration planning? CuroGens has implemented and updated hundreds of ERPs and is an experienced data migration resource. Contact us at email@example.com for more information.
Read the original article on ERP Focus.