A 12 Step Program for ERP Procurement

by Jeffrey Morgan

Procuring and implementing an ERP is like driving down a winding country road on a stormy night. You can’t see clearly through the fog and rain and you aren’t sure if you are headed in the right direction. Google Maps doesn’t have a route.

A good set of directions will get you to your destination, though. Following a rigorous methodology can reduce the anxiety and will vastly increase the probability of a successful outcome.

Following is a summary of the steps to take to ensure you have a successful ERP (or any other) software procurement project.

The 12 Steps to ERP Procurement

  1. Draft a Project Charter
  2. Establish a Procurement Committee & Appoint a Project Manager
  3. Conduct a Business Process Review
  4. Identify and Document Goals, Objectives and a Preliminary Budget
  5. Conduct a Needs Assessment
  6. Analyze and document your Information Technology Infrastructure
  7. Document Environmental Factors and Organizational Culture
  8. Draft and release an RFP (Request for Proposal) or IFB (Invitation for Bid)
  9. Review Proposals and Prepare a Short List for Demonstrations
  10. Hold Software Demonstrations & Select a Solution
  11. Customer and Vendor Site Visits
  12. Negotiate and execute the Contract

Easy, right? Only 12 steps and you will have a business process face lift along with software that works effectively for your organization.

RFP is not the First Step!

You may have noticed that drafting and issuing an RFP comes late in the project. In many of the failed projects I have studied and reviewed, the buyer treated the RFP as the first step rather than one of the final steps. Moreover, I have presented the steps sequentially, but they don’t need to be so. For instance, steps 3-7 can be conducted concurrently if you have a staff member or consultant with the skills to do so.

Don’t let your ERP procurement project drive you to drink! Make a road map, follow it diligently, and you will surely arrive at your destination on time. You can read a more detailed description of the process of getting started, here.

Read more about IT Governance, ERP Prcocurement, Enterprise Software and other related issues at http://blog.e-volvellc.com. Feel free to e-mail me at jmorgan@e-volvellc.com if you would like to discuss your project.


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