Vision Document for successful ERP Implementation
Vision is a destination – a fixed point to which we focus all effort. The strategy is a route – an adaptable path to get us where we want to go.” Simon Sinek
Having a vision for your business means having a clear sense of purpose of what you want to achieve in your business. Vision steers you in the right direction and helps define the long term and short term goals of your business. It proves a guiding force to align your decisions with your vision and stay on course to achieve your vision. Let us now see what is a vision document and why companies should have a vision document for successful ERP Implementation.
What is a Vision Document?
As per Wikipedia, “A Vision Document is a document that describes a compelling idea, project or other future state for a particular organization, product or service. The Vision defines the product/service to be developed specified in terms of the stakeholder’s key needs and desired features”
To put it in simple terms, Vision Document is a document that explains what the company wants to achieve in the future, what are the specific needs & problems of the end-users, how will the problems be resolved and what benefits will the company derive from the product/solution being implemented, towards attaining their desired vision.
What are the points to keep in mind while preparing Vision Document?
1. Clearly define the Vision for the future – Where you want to reach over the next 2-3 years. E.g. You want to double the company’s turnover in the next 3 years.
2. Describe what success will look like – E.g. Our Processes will be Streamlined, Automated with little or no manual intervention required.
3. Define Measurable Goals – E.g. We want to reach XX in Sales by 20XX. Our Production capacity should be XXX etc.
What is the Purpose of the ERP Vision Document?
Implementing ERP software is a big decision that impacts every aspect of the business and involves a significant amount of time, effort, and cost. Hence it is important to establish the vision behind the implementation and define clear goals and objectives the company wants to achieve with the ERP implementation.
The purpose of the vision document is to capture all the details about the needs, objectives, goals, about the problem statement, product features & proposed solutions into a single document. It identifies the stakeholders, managers, end-users, everyone involved in the ERP implementation. It helps to bring all of them to a common understanding of what are the problem areas and pain points being solved and gain consensus from all concerned
What should an ERP Implementation Vision Document look like?
We observe, that manufacturing SMEs understand and recognize the value that ERP can bring to their business and are keen to implement ERP. Hence we have given below an actionable step to prepare a vision document for successful ERP implementation.
ERP Vision Document should focus on the following points:
1. Introduction: Information about Company Operations
2. Purpose Statement: What is the purpose or objective of the ERP implementation?
3. Problem Statement: What is the problem that needs to be solved or improvement areas?
4. Identify Stakeholders & Users: Who are the stakeholders, end-users, specific concerns?
5. Identify Specific Needs: What are the specific business needs/requirements?
- Process Improvement
- Reporting Improvements
- Integration with existing systems
6. Product Overview & Features: Overview of the ERP modules that will be implemented along with the features that will help improve processes & resolve the specific problems pinpointed by the users.
7. Other Specific Requirements: These will refer to customizations required or specific features to be incorporated for the unique needs of your company.
What are the Benefits of ERP Vision Document?
- All Teams are aligned with the vision and have reached a consensus for the ERP implementation.
- A well-defined vision document will improve the chances of finding an appropriate ERP vendor who will fulfill most of your requirements with minimum possible customizations.
- Vision Document with clear scope & priority listed down ensures that you can monitor progress and check if you are on track or whether you need a course correction.
Developing a vision document is the starting point of a journey to achieve ERP success. Equally important is the communication of vision to all & reaching an agreement from all concerned. It is essential that everyone adheres to the vision document and makes decisions aligned with the vision to achieve the desired ERP implementation goals & objectives.