Document Your ERP Implementation

PostedOn: 2017-12-26 11:18:49

Documentation is your ERP system's memory. Sooner or later you're going to have to remember exactly what you did in the process of setting up your system. That's when the documentation is worth its weight in gold. 

As the implementation proceeds, you need to make a record of all the major decisions, issues, etc. Later when you need to upgrade or fix your system that documentation will represent the only record of what you have done. To make the best use of documentation, ensure that it is complete, truthful and easy to understand. 

You can document either online or on a term paper. Preferably both. The paper documentation will be available no matter what happens to your computer system, but the online docs will be easier to search. Whichever method you choose, make multiple copies and make sure your people know where to find them. 

Your documentation file should include a basic overview of your project and what you expect from your implementation partner and vendor during the project. 

It should also include a list of the modules you have changed and some indication of what parts of the modules you have changed.

You also want a project timeline, complete with milestones and key dates as well as list of which data you have chosen to implement and why. 

Include a list of the processes and workflows you have changed in your system 

The heart of your documentation is a list of selling processes, especially those that have changed. If you drew up a flow chart for each process, you should include these. 

This is extremely important. Not only will it remind you of what you've done, it will also serve as a reference for any changes. 

Don't forget to include documentation on all the processes you've changed in their original format. You'll need this in case problems crop up after you go live. 

If you need to change a process, you must include the flow chart on the new process in the documentation file. This is the part of the file which will change the most as time goes on. You need to keep the process list current throughout the life of the ERP project. 

This is the part of the file you will probably refer to most often. It serves as an essential memory for your ERP system.   

Include the list of top priorities for transform and also the nice to haves that you didn't implement. This can serve as an action plan for future system modifications.   

A gap analysis should be included to match up to actual performance with desired performance. This can serve as a document for future upgrades and a reminder of what the performance of the system was like at go-live. 

A risk log showing any risks in the job in terms of costs and timelines should be included in the documentation file. There should also be an issue log documenting what issues if any, the project encountered.   

The communication and decisions log should include copies of all between you and your consultant and vendor. This should include what decisions were made and why.
The goal of the documentation file is to have an organizational memory of everything about the process. Don't attempt to rely on memory for any of this information.   

This represents a lot of work, but it is required to be able to manage the project once it goes live.