The four main phases of ERP implementation are planning, pre-implementation phase, implementation and post-implementation phase. These phases have been categorized in many sub-categories and the life cycle includes following phases -
Business process study and training: In the first phase, business processes are studied and the company tries to find the link points between various processes.
The objectives of the processes are designed and the exceptions of the clients are finalized.
In the initial stage training is given to a team and to the end users to provide them with the concept of the new system, and the inputs from the client is used to define the specification of the new system.
In many cases the business processes have to be reengineered to suit the needs of the new system and many obsolete intermediate methodologies should be removed from the business to allow the system to be fast and accurate.
Analysis of needs: The buyer tries to understand the need for the new software. The client tries to find out the benefit of the new system and the software vendor tries to find out the software specifications which will be crucial for its clients business.
GAP Analysis: GAP analysis provides the points of differences between the requirements of the company and the standard capabilities of the new system. The expectation from the system is designed in this phase and then the GAP report is delivered. A follow up of the GAP analysis is designed which is also called the BMR in which the solutions are identified for the problems created during the GAP analysis.
Identifying and creating crucial data: The master data is identified, and is created as the company prepares to move the database to the new system. This is a crucial stage which requires careful handling because it can cause errors in later stages. Many companies keep outdates data with them for many years and at this stage the data which is not required is removed to prepare the new data.
Defining an implementation team and allocating tasks: At this stage the project plan is designed, and the roles and tasks are allocated.
Preparation of infrastructure: The client ensures that the infrastructure and hardware is ready to install the new software.
Implementation phase: During this phase the software is implemented and the client ensures that all the modules, forms and reports are working properly.
Testing: The software is tested for integration, scalability and robustness with the new data. The software is tested for overload handling.
Data transfer: At this stage the data in the modules and forms are migrated from the old system to the new system. This stage requires regular careful handling and frequent testing as the reports and further work will be based on this phase.
Training: The end users are provided with training and the transactions are tested repeatedly to ensure the software does not cause error in any condition.
Post-implementation phase: In the post implementation phase, the help files and related documents are provided to the client as the new system gets live.