Digital transformation has changed the face of business, and the success of your business today is usually decided with the pace at which your technological solutions grow and improve. Things in the ERP software space are a lot like changing trends. At one moment a particular trend takes control then after some years, things change, and another new trend is in action. With every change, there comes hope, strength, and assurance that these new solutions will resolve the problems of the old traditional style of thinking. And therefore, this cycle continues like a pendulum.
An agile ERP approach has the potential to streamline ERP projects, although some IT experts believed that agile was incompatible with ERP. Agile has been introduced from the software but some of its parts can be employed in the ERP. Agile is the concept where you can continuously build, test, and implement the smaller components of the system and then proceed forward to the next system. You design, develop, test, and seek customers’ feedback from the beginning and maximize the progress.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is an essential asset for several big businesses, yet ERP transformations are time-consuming, complex, and costly. So, to resolve these difficulties you can use an agile business process, which has the potential to streamline ERP projects and make Business Central easy and manageable to use.
An agile ERP business process is an adaptable project management system in which changes can be done easily. It relies on collaboration, self-organization, and managing change to deliver performance segments of the software in small durations. Relying on short sprints, teams, and testing, this approach outpaced the Waterfall approach and gave superior software, which is quicker with more economical cost.
Advantages of Using Agile Methodology in ERP System
Agile’s reputation is based on its results. Research shows that agile organizations have a 70 percent probability of being in the top quartile of organizational health, the best indicator of long-term performance. So, adopting an agile methodology for an ERP implementation is better than the Waterfall method. Adopting the Agile method offers several advantages:
1) Increased Flexibility
Using agile methodology, you can easily automate work and eliminate any potential errors within an ERP software, providing end-users a more precise role rather than a time-consuming and operational one.
Teams can design segments that serve not only the business requirements of the industry but additionally one that serves well for its culture and available resources. With the collaborative team in the management of the segment build, it becomes easy to do any changes that are required to instantly adjust to the new software.
2) Boosts Confidence
ERP implementations are uncomfortable and sometimes even scary. They need entire companies to discover and learn new skills and travel through a prolonged learning curve. However, using the Agile ERP approach, all work processes are listed in the software which can be reached any time.
This functionality provides ERP software users to get the most desirable decisions during the management of projects. Starting with modules or segments that can be created and implemented instantly can increase organizational confidence. This strategy allows the team to become more comfortable and gain confidence.
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3) Enhanced Collaboration and Team Building
Using the traditional method, changes are usually rolled out over a long period and at a greater cost. Functionality was probably limited throughout the “debugging”, and depending on resources and cost, some changes were not able to be performed at all.
The collaborative environment offered by Agile methodology including its emphasis on teams and accountability ensures that a more comprehensive sampling of the team is involved in the build. This improves the resulting ERP rollout to be more customized and tailored as per the requirements of the users within the organization right from the start.
The centralization and combination of company information in processes such as purchasing, operations, finance or sales, enables easier maintenance of the growth of business lines.
4) Customized Functionality
Users usually rely on appropriate reports and metrics to achieve the required tasks of their positions within the organization. Utilizing Agile methodology to execute a new ERP enables metrics and reports to be planned and designed especially for users who need them.
With the help of agile ERP, all the business activities of your corporation will be in one central location, workers will become capable to reach the data that they need instantly, which gives them the capability to respond immediately to consumer needs. Businesses that adopt Agile Methodology for ERP system implementation can see a huge improvement in organizational participation, collaboration, and buy-in.
Agile Business Process ERP Software – Things to Consider
The development aspect of your business today usually depends on the software that you use for your business. Also, the pace at which your business can adapt will normally be regulated by the pace at which software can change and improve. You should consider the following things to support and maintain ERP transformations through agile business processes:
1) Understanding the concept of Agile
It’s important to remember that Agile is not like a waterfall. Waterfall ERP projects are usually planned with solutions devised upfront. This approach for software development is extremely sequential and can be divided into seven different phases. Alternatively, the agile approach considers adaptability and involvement. The problems and their solutions are not certainly fully understood or documented upfront. The project is divided into smaller pieces that can be delivered in smaller iterations or sprints.
2) Define who your stakeholders are
Planning which members of an organization will be influenced in the process of a project is important. Therefore, you need to see who in the organization will be affected and make sure to include them in the process. Business owners, exec management, development, and testing teams all need to be incorporated.
There will be both types of people, the one that you can rely on for support, others that you can expect to derail you. Including all these members in the process of developing a project will help the success of the project. Also, these stakeholders should understand what agile means for them as well as what improvements, benefits, and changes they should expect.
3) Set up a business case and rearrange teams around projects
Knowing what benefits agile methodologies for ERP can give is essential for you to justify a business case for it. The following questions can help you to establish a business case:
- What does it cost to deliver applications now?
- How much would it cost to delay application delivery?
- How much you have to spend on application development plus testing?
Agile demands addressing, how teams are created, communicate with each other. For this reason, open communication channels among team members are essential. Development and testing teams will require to work as a whole, with a business representative supervising everything as a software product manager. Agile ERP is successfully utilized if several smaller teams work together to address the requirements.
4) Create a Backlog
Agile focuses on business outcomes and working solutions, where a backlog of software requirements is developed in the form of user stories for different specific personas. This backlog needs to be prioritized as stories that offer the maximum business benefit are addressed first at priority. That implies that you should look at what’s most essential and what are the dependencies between requirements.
It is very important to manage dependencies to help you understand what can be delivered independently, and what demands to work together. Agile also provides the flexibility to set priorities and support scope changes, making them much more convenient to manage.
5) Establish Sprint Meetings
Agile provides constant feedback so that everyone knows what’s going on and where moderate redirection may be needed. Instant feedback is another essential concept in agile along with the creation of backlog so that everyone working on the project remains on the same page. Brief everyday meetings are important to keep the team updated. A retrospective session after sprint meetings can be practiced evaluating what was completed and what was not done plus to look for areas that require improvement.
Team members should attend sprint planning sessions and should also understand the personalities included and assure that everyone is supported. Eventually, this regular communication assures that the business achieves what it aimed.
In almost every ERP implementation, the agile project management program will be more practical and responsive to evolving customer requirements, enabling the project team to adapt instantly to fresh and growing requirements, thereby decreasing impacts to the timeline and budget by reducing rework. An agile ERP implementation if employed accurately can considerably decrease the risk of an enterprise software implementation project not being on time and budget. It involves the client at periodic intervals throughout the project, rather than at the end when the project goes live. Until the arrival of Agile methodology, software development was an extended process, but now it can be accomplished much more smoothly and efficiently.