Avoiding the Tears and Trauma of Implementing MRP – The 6 Areas to Success

By Anne Kaese | August 31, 2021

Implementing MRP doesn’t have to tear the heart out of your organization. Tears and trauma can be avoided by understanding, mitigating, and resolving the most common problems faced during implementation. Issues surrounding implementation typically fall into one of six categories: team, training, technical, tactical, tenacity, and trust.

1. Implement MRP with Team Accountability 

The first step to making your implementation run smoothly is to understand that your company owns the solution. Continuum of ownership is crucial because organizations that are not 100% invested and involved in the process tend to fail.

To implement without tears, remember that this project is more in-house than outside. Implementation partners offer expertise and people, but your company must be fully committed to driving the process for it to be successful.

2. Implement MRP by Including Training

Don’t leave training to the last minute. Train early so your decision-makers understand system capabilities before going into process design sessions. Certain employees will be trained early on, whereas others will be trained near the end of implementation. Training requires intention and a plan. It should not be frantic right before go-live. As part of your training plan, develop a plan to train the trainer.

Mix online and in-person training. Online training involves eLearning with no trainer interaction. This is valuable, but not a complete training solution. Employees will not know the system after watching others work in the system. In-person training offers the ability to ask questions in a virtual or physical classroom environment and is an important aspect of training.

Signing up for webinars is a good starting place to learn more about MRP implementation.

3. Implement MRP by Keeping up with Technical Updates

Microsoft’s platform allows for rolling updates. Stay up to date and continually build new functionality into your rollout. Confab livestreams are a great resource for new functionality updates.

Avoid tears and trauma by knowing when technical “stuff” will happen. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money on a customization that is unnecessary because functionality already exists in the system.

4. Implement MRP by being Tactical

The interconnectedness of business systems makes MRP implementation challenging, but also extremely rewarding.

Unless you have unlimited money and people, you can’t have it all or do it all at once. Ask where you will get the biggest bang for the buck. Consider continually building out functionality in phases from your core go-live implementation structure. It’s better to go live with less and promise deliverables than attempt to go live with everything and fail. Determine a plan for continuous success.

Find your priorities and pick your battles. Determine which core strategic levels of functionality must be delivered in phase one.

Do not die on a hill of functionality. Stay sane by not trying to implement everything. Plan for a phased structure with milestones over a time period. You never finish implementing MRP as there’s always new functionality, new business needs, and new requirements that will be added as your business grows and changes.

Keep track of project pieces. Track logical grouping and assign responsibility for pieces of work. DevOps is a useful tracking tool for its dashboarding functionality.

To implement without tears, consider “must-haves” versus “nice to haves” based on how you will use the system.

5. Implement MRP with Tenacity

You must keep moving the project forward even when it gets tough. Implementation is a marathon, not a sprint.

Plan for the crazy by including some slack in your schedule.

Have time off when you don’t talk about the project and focus on other priorities.

Have party times and celebrate successes. It is important for your customers and employees to have visual confirmation that this is a priority. Celebrate your first successful data migration, new functionality from Microsoft, the end of the training, and so on. Make celebrations public and reward team members with recognition for hard work. When others see success being celebrated, they want to be part of that success. This energy boost is needed to get through slow times.

For a successful implementation, practice tenacity by powering through the pain and getting it done. Learn how to market an MRP project within your company in the blog V is for Victory.

6. Implement MRP with Trust in Your Team

Trust is the most important part of a project. Projects go off the rail because users or executives stop trusting the plan, the people implementing it, and the process being used. When this happens, momentum is lost and project necessity is put into question. Loss of trust is usually connected to tiredness and an unclear vision.

Address concerns by verifying the plan and updating it if needed. Have a sense of reliance that the plan, the people, and the process are the best possible, and if they’re not, fix them. If necessary, remove roadblocks and underperformers who are destroying the project from the inside out. Everyone on the implementation team should add value and believe in the vision.

For MRP implementation without tears and trauma, trust the plan, the people, and the process.

Smooth MRP implementation is done with the right team, training, technical expertise, tenacity, and trust. Reach out to our experts for further insight into implementation without tears and trauma.

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