What to Consider When Planning a JD Edwards Implementation

Every successful project has a plan, and a JD Edwards project is no different. As you begin planning for your JD Edwards implementation, ensure your organization is fully prepared.

Initial Planning

Building Your Project Team

Having the right people on your project is necessary to its success. C-suite members must be involved, while one of those executives needs to serve as the project sponsor. Also part of the core team should be your best employees. Many businesses don’t want to spare their top workers from their jobs for a significant amount of time, but people who know the business, come from across the organization and can make decisions are vital. Having a plan to backfill your employees’ current responsibilities is critical – it allows them to feel comfortable spending time on the ERP project and prevents them from being overworked.

Once you better understand and have outlined what you require, consider who’s on board. Your core team must include:

  • Members of the C-suite
  • The project champion
  • Key team leaders
  • Implementation team members

Timing

Once you assemble your team, think about timing. How do you know when is the best time to launch your JD Edwards implementation project?

  • Now: This could be the optimal time to begin a project of this size. Perhaps you have a legacy system that you no longer trust, fees to maintain it aren’t justifiable or your business isn’t benefiting from running it anymore. You may not have an ERP system at all and require one to improve your business operations. These are all reasons to consider undertaking an ERP implementation at this time.
  • Down the road: For a variety of reasons, your organization may see the benefit of implementing JD Edwards, but undertaking such a crucial project may not be within your company’s capacity. Recognizing this and planning for a later date can help you be more successful.
  • Implement in phases: While right now may not be the right time to take on a full-scale implementation, consider creating a strategic JDE roadmap. This will allow your organization to implement JDE functionality in phases and realize the business benefits as you go, but also stay on course to complete the project in a manageable length of time.

Business Requirements

As you plan your JD Edwards implementation, evaluate what you require from your solution. Identify the necessary improvements and benefits you need to see. Consider these questions:

  • What are you trying to fix?
  • What isn’t working for your business now?
  • What are your business goals, and how do you need JDE to help you achieve them?
  • What manual processes could you potentially automate?
  • Where are you lacking visibility or reliable reporting?
  • What tools do you need to operate your business more efficiently?

 

Asking these questions will highlight the necessary tools you need and what processes are a priority to establish. Your answers may also identify third-party applications you’ll need to integrate with your JDE system, which should begin early in the process.

Implementation Methodology

Using a methodology is critical to setting up your JD Edwards implementation project for success. But why use a methodology, what should be included and why does it work?

Why Use a Methodology?

A methodology for a JD Edwards implementation project is necessary for a couple reasons. First, a proven methodology is developed from past implementation projects. This means the roadmap your partner will use to guide your implementation has been tested and improved with each project.

Second, a good methodology provides both leadership and accountability. You can trust that your partner will pilot you through using a set of best practices, performed in the proper order. Additionally, establishing goals and milestones you can measure allows you to see the progress you are making toward the larger goal – go-live.

What We Follow – Our Methodology

At Terillium, we follow a methodology developed from our consultants’ experiences on implementation projects. We combine this with strong project management and our team’s expertise for a reliable path to success.

Our JD Edwards implementation methodology steps are:

  • Launch
  • Initiate
  • Integrate
  • Educate
  • Go-live

Why It Works

While developed from numerous past implementations, our methodology is also founded in heavy testing and training. Testing is necessary to know whether your system is functioning properly. We don’t just test individual tasks – we demonstrate that entire business processes are operating as they should to prove your solution can support your operations.

Training is key for ongoing success. We train early and often to ensure you are comfortable and knowledgeable about your system, as well as root out any issues that need to be addressed.

Implementation Best Practices

Throughout the course of hundreds of JD Edwards implementations, we’ve learned the ways to success and the potential pitfalls. Now that we’ve reviewed the ERP success factors, be ready for anything before you begin your implementation with these best practices.

  • Test a lot: Testing should take place throughout the entire implementation process, not just the end before go-live.
  • Maintain communication: Ensuring there is communication between your partner and your internal team in integral to the success of your implementation project.
  • Early integration: Don’t wait until the end to coordinate with third parties for software integration. This often leads to issues or a hold up with go-live.
  • Use a methodology: A methodology should be based on past implementation experience to provide a framework and structure to the project.
  • Manage risk: As with anything, there is always risk. Understand the risks associated with an ERP implementation. Create mitigation and contingency plans to avoid risks that can be avoided or to respond when necessary.
  • Manage change: An ERP implementation is a major business project. Understand the impact it will have on your organization and the affect it will have on employees, departments and locations. Communication between leadership and employees must be maintained.
  • Managed services: Issues or additional work on your new solution sometimes arises following go-live. Managed services support can optimize processes, add more functionality or fix problems once you’re live on JDE.
  • Training: Periodic training should occur throughout the implementation, not just before go-live.

How to Choose an Implementation Partner

When planning a JD Edwards implementation, choosing the right partner is nearly as important to your success as choosing the right software.

Qualifications

The consulting firm you partner with should be the right fit for your organization, as well as relevant experience in your industry and be equipped with tools for team communication and project management.

Each project at Terillium has its own SharePoint environment for team members to access all project files and data. Additionally, we offer remote consulting services should work need to be performed offsite.

What to Expect

An implementation project is a complex project. However, your partner should be able to simplify it while providing leadership and guidance with managing change and navigating the process. Additionally, your partner must have technical and functional experience with the software.

How Your Partner Can Help

A knowledgeable partner is able to help you run a more efficient business. While much of the legwork following implementation will be done by your JD Edwards solution, your partner will assist in optimizing the system for your organization. Partners should have the experience necessary to make recommendations that will allow you to get the most out of it. Alternatively, your partner can assess your operations and pinpoint areas where you can make improvements.

Quality training by your partner will also assist you with success in your implementation.  While training takes place throughout the project, end user training allows your employees that will work in JD Edwards to better utilize their new tool as well as feel more confident in their understanding.