Introduction with integrating all the organizations data into a

Introduction –

ERP
frameworks are ending up more vital for nearly each firm to enhance the
aggressiveness. As indicated by achievement of the usage of ERP framework. With
ERP, Organizations can get an upper hand in the worldwide market quickly. A
number of organizations are utilizing resources into ERP implementation. Many
ERP ventures have brought lot of changes and profits to their organization with
the implementation of new systems. Hence there is a need for new ERP
system/upgraded ERP system software in every Organization for improved business
productivity and it can be utilized according to the categorized budget.

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            Here in our scenario, George
Washington School district has 30,000 students from elementary, middle and high
schools. With the district expanding, there is a need of improving technology
across the schools. The school has data stored in centrally and in various
databases, and there is an IT Administration team who provides maintenance and
support to  all the departments. As the
district allocated funds, there is a need to connect all the systems to a
single server database system with the advanced technologies. We will be
discussing about the funds allocation provided by district in this paper.

Benefits of an ERP System:


ERP System helps significantly to reduce cost and saves times for the
organization’s business processes


With new ERP system, it provides an outline with the enterprise’s information
(with pictures) which will integrate all the departments of enterprise,
functions and higher levels of hierarchy into a complete new system which makes
enterprise’s work easy.


ERP helps with integrating all the organizations data into a single database in
which all the data relating to company’s business transactions will be entered,
processed, monitored, recorded, reported. This will greatly reduce the time of
manually entering the data and monitoring etc,. and helps integration of
departments and improve end production and customer satisfaction.


Ability to oversee benefit related staff and related expenses using the asset
administration module of the framework. Before, the organization could dispense
just the beneficial assets cost to each organization movement. Presently by
exploiting the asset administration (timesheets) module of the framework, the
undertaking can deal with the cost of the administration staff.


A Proposed ERP system will help the organization to avoid paperwork, no damage
to existing database, reduces time because we will be upgrading the
organizations current quality management system with supporting new IT system.
This will help with improved quality management and will provide all the
insights of the reports to the management.


Flexibility and production efficiency in the organization will have a great
improvement by implementing ERP System. Project delivery times will be on time,
productivity will be increased, with the precise delivery times, profits of
organization will be good and relationship with customers and customer
satisfaction will be good.


ERP System helps for better communication, transfer of data and also the
important information of the whole organization. With this, employees will be
having instant access to documents, reports, real-time data according to their
assigned duties.  Fully Customized view
of the reports and information will be available according to each user
position.


With the ERP System, organization can increase their sales and they can also
increase their efficiency in productivity.

Implementation Schedule and Fund
Allocation for George Washington School District:

As the district has been awarded $100,000 by
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for improving technology within the district
schools, I will allocate the funds as planned below:

            Discovering
and Planning      –           $3000

            Design                                     –           $25,000

            Development                          –           $30,000

            Testing                                                –           $20,000

            Deployment                            –           $8000

            Training                                  –           $8000

            Ongoing
Support                    –           $8000

 

Discovering
and Planning –

The
first stage begins with a new project team. Existing issues with the school’s
current technologies, databases are identified by this project team and there
will be initial meeting and the discussions with the documentation developed by
the team with the issues and proposed solution. The main part of this stage is
creating an effective project plan which will help as an outline through rest
of the project implementation process.

Design

In
this stage, the project team have to come with a design to implement the new
ERP system for the George Washington School District to create a single
database. Here, various configurations for new systems, defining roles and
procedures, documenting is done. A perfect design needs to be created here for
School. It should also have how the enterprise system should look like and how
it can be used in the School.

Development

In
the development stage, the main reason is for preparing the proposed system to
go live. This incorporates exercises, for example, finishing any essential
customizations, creating client trainings, and bringing in information. With
ERP usage, similar to any custom programming improvement ventures – “To
start with, Solve the issue. At that point, compose the code.”

Testing

This
stage will be the final stage before the system going live into
production.  We need to also check if all
the requirements of the project are aligned with the planning. Testing of the
new system will be done here and changes are also fine tuned constantly.

Deployment
and Training –

The
Project and also implantation team in this stage will look after all the test
results and see the situations and take a final verdict to whether make the new
system go live into production or not. All the data of the schools will be
loaded here within and will be validated. 

The
Project team will start training the employees within the organization and make
them to use the new system and adapt to it.

Ongoing
Support –  After
the New ERP software will be live in production, the necessity of the project
team will change and as the time passes they need to take the feedback from the
users and make changes to the School System’s Configuration.

Now
that we have got Board’s approval for implementation of Enterprise Resource
Planning, now we will have to create a structural and implementation proposal
with detail steps.  The way
implementation strategy will be implemented will ensure that we are prepared
for new ERP implementation, we will have to maintain focus on the main scope of
the project and make sure that all the staff are given adequate training and be
prepared.

There
are different Strategies for implementing new ERP. Some of them are –

Big – Bang Strategy –

In
this Strategy, organizations outline and define rules for ERP Implementation.
In this Strategy, all the ERP systems of all modules will be installed across
the whole organization at once. This Process of approach insisted to get down
the cost if it is done through careful execution of processes. This Strategy
will lead to higher rate of failure for ERP Implementation. In this process,
the business functions performed across the whole organization will be
transferred over a period of a day or a week. Now-a-days organizations are not
using this approach because it consumes many resources to support for the
go-live into production of ERP System.

Phase Transition Strategy –

In
this Phased Transition Approach, the modules will be implemented accordingly
one at a time in a particular order as defined in the project outline. Modules
which are autonomous of ERP Systems will be installed in each department, and
the integration of all the other modules will be done at the later stage of the
project. Many organizations adopt for this method of ERP Implementation
Strategy. This implementation strategy will help to reduce risk during
installation, customizing and operating ERP will be easy. This step by step
process of ERP implementation will help with the success of the project.

Process line Transition Strategy –

In
this Strategy, the implementation will be breaking into various processes or
product lines. With this strategy, the first process line of product will go
first in transiting the old system to new ERP system. After this is done, the
second product line will be moved to new system. This step by step process of
product line implementation increases the overall success of project. The later
steps will be complicated and challenging.

Recommendation –

For
new Implementation ERP Strategy for George Washington School district, I would
go with Parallel Adoption ERP Strategy. This process may be less popular, but
this will be very useful. In this method, the old school system and new School
ERP system will be running at the same time, the users will learn to adopt to
the new ERP system while they will be still working with the old system. When
all the requirements is made, the new system is switched. The advantages with
this system are

–         
This Strategy is less risky.

–         
Users will be able to adopt to new system
simultaneously when working with old system

–         
This strategy is faster and reliable than
Phased Roll out.

2.
Reasons for Purchasing and Implementing ERP
System –

Implementing
new ERP system for George Washington School district has many advantages. The
reasons for purchasing and implanting new ERP system are –

–         
The new ERP system helps the school
administration to integrate all the data accessible through many devices such
as laptops, smartphones etc., This helps in improving the school’s integration
process which will be helpful for staff and students.

–         
With new ERP system for school,
administrators will be able to handle the data efficiently and they can
organize the data accurately which indirectly helps the management with money
and decision taking.

–         
Another reason is students and staff will
be able to communicate even if the schools are closed due to any reasons, so
the new ERP software for school will help for effective communication.

–         
 On
the other side administration will be able to share the information with this
new school ERP software, so the staff, administrators, students can access it
from any where and at any time.

–         
ERP software for School will help to fill
out the data easily without paper because the software allows directly to enter
data and this data will be store on central database of school district which
increases data protection, data recovery.

–         
ERP software helps students to adopt to
new learning environment where all the learning modules will be available
through online, which prevents them to carry books and make their work easier.
This helps in reducing cost and also will help for a better environment around
us.

–         
Various Departments of school can easily
share the information through the schools official new ERP software. This helps
for one department accessing other departments information easily only with a
valid user ID login.

–         
Performance of the School will be improved
after successfully integrating into a new learning environment. This helps in
saving a lot of time and makes work easier.

–         
The new School ERP software helps for easy
access of information related to school. Students can access their text books
from online because there will be an online library where all the books will be
integrated. Staff will be able to provide students new research material easily
with the links and videos.

–         
Now-a-days students are addicted to using
a lot of smartphones and laptops. So, changing to a new ERP system will help
more participation from students because they like to spend time online reading
books and gain knowledge.

Hence,
successful ERP implementation for Schools will improve the institution’s fame,
save money, save time and also improve their quality of education. Students
will be able to succeed in their education with these easy accessing tools.

ERP Software Vendor Selection Process

Now
that we have finalized for implementing new ERP Strategy for George Washington
School District, now the next process is selecting appropriate vendor for
implementing the new ERP Technology. There are many factors which needs to be
considered when choosing right ERP vendor. Implementing a new ERP system is
always time consuming, more money, so we will have make a right choice by
considering the factors needed for School. So, we will have to consider/checklist
the following when selecting vendor:

Vendor’s Reputation and Situation in
Market –

We
will have to consider the following factors to finalize if the vendor is good
for business.

v  Changes
the Organization went through in recent years.

v  Considering
the Vendor’s latest offerings with the product and also knowing what are their
plans of implementing new products in future.

v  No.
of Years the Vendor Company has been sustaining in the market and how well they
understand the scope and goal and implementing it.

v  As
our School is big, we will have to know if the vendor has any previous
experience in providing better ERP solutions to large organization similar to
our Schools.

What Technologies the Vendor is
offering for ERP Solutions?

v  If
the ERP Solution offered by the Vendor will meet our School needs in improving
the technology and database.

v  If
the Solution can meet our technical needs of the School Organization.

v  If
the Vendor can provide support in multiple sites as we have 200 schools and if
they can run with multiple operations.

v  If
the Solution is easy, is it good to adapt to the growing technologies and
users?

System Functionalities and ease of
Use –

v  Describing
the Challenges our Organization faces and considering if the vendor can solve
the ongoing challenges and issues.

v  Evaluating
with Vendor which ERP Technology would better suit for the role of School
Organization.

v  Asking
vendors for a demonstration of the technology to be implemented and considering
how the platform is easy to user or not, and if the platform can solve the
database issues within School District.

v  Asking
Vendors if they can provide with documents and help in future if we encounter
any problems.

Training and Support by the Vendor –

We
will have to consider following factors whether if the Vendor can provide
necessary Support and Training

v  Considering
if the vendor can provide a successful ERP Implementation.

v  Process
provided by the Vendor in order to transition to the new system without any
trouble.

v  Asking
if the vendor can provide the training to the teachers of School during and
post after the implementation process.

v  If
there are any bugs after the implementation, ask if they can provide the source
code and what is their practice in fixing the bugs and releasing new patch with
bug free.

Steps Required for Successful
Implementation –

1.
Outline Clearly the requirements before
starting the Project Implementation –

The
requirements should be clearly proposed and outlined to the IT Staff people who
are responsible for implementing the project. Organizations when failed to
focus on system requirements and processes will find ERP implementation process
tough and takes more time and more money. The scope of the project should be
outlined, well defined to make sure that the project implementation doesn’t
fail.

2.
Considering Our Options –

We
need to evaluate our options when implementing the ERP Strategy. When the
project is mishandled, and poor management will have devasting efforts causing
critical problems when implementing process. This may lead to choosing the
wrong merchant, data transfer can be delayed or mishandled. So, we need to
prepare our self properly and carefully, evaluate all the options, consider
inputs from users what they need and evaluate all the plans before implementing
the ERP Process.

3.
Documenting User Guidelines –

When
Implementing new ERP system, there should be a proper rules/guideline defined
when following the procedures. It should be essential for users to understand
and how to interact with the new system, improvising data workflow, providing
users with necessary guidelines which are needed to be moved to a new working
environment with new features. Documents should be created and maintained with detailed
user procedures, before and while ERP Implementation.

4
– Single Step Implementation –

This
step of implementation needs all the users to move to a new working system all
at once. This process will be ideal for small business with less operations because
they have less number of users, and ERP Implementation will be easy to handle
all the process so we our focus can be more towards scope of project and
parameters of the implementation.

5
-Phased Rollout Strategy

Phased
rollout refers to changing to a new ERP system will be done in phases. There
will be users chosen and made into certain batches. This batches will be
required to work with new system so they can understand the key features.
Because of this, we can take feedback from users and ask them if there are any
issues, so we can take feedback from them and improvise. Rather than a single
step process, this phased rollout strategy takes more time but this will be
useful for business who change the process often.

6
– Simultaneous Adoption

This
process had both new working environment i.e new ERP and systems which will be
operated parallelly. This strategy will be useful for business who have issues
with training for their staff, so this strategy will help users to adopt to new
system.

7
– Choosing Effective Project Lead

A
Project Leader should be chosen for handling project. The lead should be aware
of the new implementation efforts, scope of the project. If the lead is from
the vendor, then it will be a asses for the business implementing new ERP. A
right project lead should be chosen with experience in implementing new
software, aware of all end-user requirements and work towards it. Project Lead
will be helpful in many ways for right implementation of the ERP system.

8
– Allocating Time and Providing
Resources for Training

Learning
or adopting to a new working operating system will take necessary time and
efforts by the users. So there should be adequate training sessions provided by
the management to the staff so they are habituated with the ERP system and they
need to have all the learning modules and resources when migrating to new
System.

Avoiding Potential Roadblocks –

Once
we finalize for implementing a new ERP System, there can be several barriers
which restrict the implementation. So, we will have to cross the barriers for a
smooth flow of the project. Some of the barriers are listed below and how to
avoid them –

 

 

Before Implementation –

Ø  There
can be a trouble if we don’t choose the correct ERP Vendor. This may later lead
to delay in project and changing the outlines. So, ERP Vendor must be chosen
appropriately who suits for the business solutions.

Ø  There
should be Sponsorships provided to the Organization regularly during the
implementation process, else the project can be delayed.

Ø  Lack
of Proper Planning will lead to a lot of troubles. So, it is very essential for
having an adequate project management. The Team chosen for the project should
accomplish of members who are familiar with the Organization’s operation, like
if there are any team members who were already been there previously when changing
the ERP Systems. Project Guidelines and Priorities have to be set correctly and
ensuring the team has full support by the Organization.

Ø  Data
Loss can be a problem because while implementing new ERP System, if there is
any error, the data becomes corrupted, so we will have to make sure that we
back up all the data of the organization.

Ø  No
Proper Defined Timeline and Budget –  We
will have to outline a proper schedule and budget allocation for ERP
Implementation which is very crucial. Rushing through the project will arise many
problems, So, setting a proper timeline and allocating proper budget can avoid errors
and delay.

During Implementation –

Ø  Lack of Training –
Proper Training must be Provided to the employees because if they don’t
understand the scope and the new system, then that will be a waste of time. So,
providing them with proper training material can yield good results.

Ø  All
the Resources required should be provided aptly within defined time frame.

Ø  Making
Sure the data is in clean format for transiting to the new System.

Post Implementation –

Ø  Organization
needs to find new employees within the time frame who are capable of working
with new ERP System. If there is a delay, then it can lead to failure of ERP
System because of lack of employees.

Ø  The
New ERP System should be handled over to the team who are already trained and
well knowledgeable.

Ø  Making
sure the old applications or tools are not being used by any team members which
can lead to confusion. We will have to ensure all the applications are
transitioned into new ERP module.

Conclusion –

As
we have listed all the possible scenarios, implementation schedule, troubles
and how to avoid them, we know that implementing a new ERP system is not an
easy task. There are many blocks on the road to a successful ERP
implementation. We will have to follow with the perfectly designed Planning,
Scheduling, allocating funds and implementing it in a right way to lead to
success.