June 20, 2011

ERP Project - Key Success Factor 9: Data & Approval on Time

Data on Time:

One of the critical requirements for the ERP project effectiveness is the availability & timeliness of right information and this has to be managed throughout ERP implementation project. Information related constraints include finding the right data to load into the system & converting disparate data structures into a single, consistent format before the system usage. Documentation of current & future (required) business processes & data flows is key to design the ERP system and would ensure that the automated ERP system would bring in the complete business process & the desired operational management controls.

An ERP system implementation gives the opportunity to revise & update master (customers, suppliers, general ledger, inventory, technology etc.,) & transaction (quote, order, invoice, receipt, voucher etc.,) data. Data preparation might become a critical challenge for the ERP project. Significant effort for data preparation, entry, migration & validation would be required for collating information from various sources of dispersed data.

Everyone under-estimate the data collection effort & time involved for the same. Enough time need to be allocated to recognize, explain, authorize & replicate all the required information. This is the opportunity for organizations to correct their legacy data.

The entire legacy data need not be converted, as there would be obsolete information in the legacy system. we need to analyze the current data to get rid of the obsolete data & get the right data validated. We need to delete the unwanted information such as data on inactive customers, vendors, inventory etc., Describe the new data that needs to be gathered, recognize the data sources, Collect & segment the data. After the data conversion & entry, it must be checked for correctness.

Legacy system data conversion involves Data field definition in ERP, Map ERP fields to legacy system fields, Convert legacy fields to ERP fields, define data cleansing, Cleanse data & sign off data cleansing. This phase involves converting the data format in the legacy system to suit the data format requirement of the ERP system. Large organizations might take 2-3 calendar months to get the right validated data and this might even drag the ERP project implementation schedule.

Approval on Time:

The implementing organization need to take various decisions during the ERP Project Implementation. Key decisions to be taken by the implementation organization during the ERP project implementation among others include:

  • Project Plan
  • Team structure & Resource allocation
  • Project goals / deliverable & Scope
  • Key requirements (process & data flow) – business & technical
  • Business Process Re-engineering
  • Gaps & Issues
  • Change Management Plan
  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Data (master & transaction) Conversion & Migration
  • Training – Core team / Business user / IT user
  • Documentation
The implementing organization team along with the implementing vendor team has to take the decisions on the above on time to ensure that the ERP Project is implemented successfully on time to realize the complete ROI benefits.


  1. You are right that underestimates are common and it need enough time to recognize, explain, authorize and replicate all the required information so it should be taken care of.
    sap solution manager