ERP development is crucial, allowing you to tailor your chosen software to your businesses’ specific needs, 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 either hand it on to their internal development team, or a team of external development consultants they have contracted to carry out the work.
It’s critical that you take some time to prepare your business, from the initial idea, all the way through to User Acceptance Testing (UAT).
Here are several steps you can take then to help make sure your business does ERP development correctly.
Find a development team you can trust
One of the keys to success with ERP development is finding a team who are reliable. If you can trust them to deliver on your specifications, you are off to a good start. If your development needs can met by an existing off-the-shelf solution, this can help to alleviate some of your concerns as the solution is already likely to have a proven track record of working.
If you need to go down the bespoke development route, making sure communication is clear is of critical importance. Clarify your expectations with them from the outset to ensure you can rely on them to deliver what you need.
Offer detailed specifications
Don’t present your development team with anything but a full specification.
In the case of bespoke development, they will be developing a solution based on your specifications, and if you leave anything to chance, the process may not turn out as expected.
In the case of off-the-shelf developments, such as our Unit4 Business World (Agresso) Expert Solutions, a clear specification from yourself can help ensure that the available solution will be suitable for your requirements.
Whether it’s data samples, process requirements or timeline expectations, the more information you can provide within the specification of your development, the better.
Understand the needs of your users
Ensure that your developer has conversations with the people responsible for using the system. It’s not uncommon for developers to only talk to executive level people; managers and consultants. While this may be 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
Make sure to give your developer access to reliable data.
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.
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 end users.
Take time to understand the various learning styles of your team members. Ensure that various training methods are available so that the people using the system clearly understand how it works.
You may be eager to get your ERP development solution in place as quickly as possible to benefit from it. Therefore, planning might seem like an extra step that wastes time. But the opposite is true. If you don’t plan and communicate clearly with your developer, you’re going to be spending more time and resources than you originally planned for.