Typically, one of the first questions when planning a CRM or ERP implementation is, “Should we implement in a Big Bang or a Phased approach?”
Although many companies historically started with a big bang mindset because it costs less money, there are several reasons why phased implementations continue gaining traction.
Big bang implementations are very challenging if there is significant diversity across sites, heavy transaction volumes, or a large number of users that need to progress through the change curve. For these types of projects, a phased approach reduces risk by going live with a pilot site to prove the solution.
Some single-site companies may also look to deploy in a phased approach because they want to increase speed to value. By applying agile concepts to ERP, companies can break up the releases into smaller segments to go live more rapidly with some base functionality. After an initial go-live, these projects continue to enhance the solution with more minor releases to drive out additional efficiencies.
Hear from Centric’s Enterprise Applications and Solutions Lead, Chris Szaz to learn more about the two CRM and ERP implementation approaches:
The increase of cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions has also impacted deployment decisions. Since these types of solutions typically get updated a couple of times per year, companies now implement more “out of the box” solutions than in the past. Many of these solutions allow their products to be “personalized” versus “customized,” which results in easier solution upgrades. In addition, these types of products offer industry solutions to help accelerate implementation.
As companies continue to move towards SaaS solutions, they can leverage standard software functionality, implement in phases, and increase their speed to value.
Determining the right core scope is critical when leveraging a multi-phased approach. Implementing a scope that is too narrow may not provide enough business value for the extra effort required on interim processes. This type of release may cause too much noise and extra manual effort. Defining a release with too much scope may delay the benefits and increase the overall project timeline.
Although ERP implementations keep trending towards leveraging multiple releases, there is no one-size-fits-all model. Our Enterprise Applications and Solutions team enjoys helping clients define a deployment strategy based on their specific needs. We help clients balance factors such as cost, risk, speed to benefit, and supportability to devise their deployment approach.