There are many routes to implementing ERP solutions in a company's operations. These pathways take many different turns such as choosing the right software, training employees, getting people interested in the project and providing support after the programs go live. Even with a Microsoft Dynamics implementation, there are a lot of ways to go about installing the software and modules. An effective ERP strategy requires knowing and executing the method of installation that works best for the business. In certain cases, a useful approach is to do everything at once. This big bang method carries a lot of unique advantages at a certain cost.
Done in an instant
The big bang approach to ERP solutions is valued by many because of its expediency. In this situation, the software gets installed company-wide and users are expected to switch to it on a given start date. The process of and launch is a much shorter time than in other situations. With the legacy system being shut off when the new implementation goes live, employees will not be able to use the old one anymore.
While this process can be completed in a very short time, there is a lot more planning and strategy that goes into a big bang implementation. For example, the workers have to be ready for the new software. This requires a high level of training. A change management policy may also be needed to address worker concerns, especially for those who feel threatened or left out by the new system. In addition, coordination between decision-makers, the implementation team and other stakeholders must be established so that production is not undermined in order to add the new system to current business functions.
Like pulling off a band-aid
A successful big bang installation can be a great experience for a company, but it can also be painful. There are lot of benefits and risks that go into the implementation because of the speed it takes. For one, according to the blog ERP VAR, there is less confusion involved once integration is complete, since everyone is on the same system. More importantly, because everything happens at once, the amount of time to finish the process is shortened considerably, while the costs tend to be lower. Any issues that come up tend to be resolved quickly, simply because there is far less room for error on the part of the implementation team.
On the other hand, the low threshold for mistakes means that a big bang approach is an incredibly risky endeavor. In the speed of getting the integration completed, certain things may be missed that will only become obvious after launch and problems will be more acute. Plus, if there's a major failure, it's likely to impact all aspects of operations rather than be isolated in certain circumstances. Finally, even with successful training and change management, employees will need time to adjust to the new system, thus hampering performance initially. When planning out a big bang approach, greater coordination and care must be taken into consideration, since it's usually an all-or-nothing situation.