For those who want to better understand the various software options available through NetSuite, and for those who are hesitant to commit to the various phases of a NetSuite project management job, we put together a list of steps to help you along the way.
1. Determine the needs of your company
The first phase of your NetSuite project will take place before you even have hold of the software. Indeed, this one can be the most important of them all, as you will first need to determine what requirements you have for the project, what processes you will be using, and what pain points you are trying to resolve. Only after you have this data can you decide which modules will be the right fit for your NetSuite project.
Imagine realizing that you have selected the wrong modules and must return them, purchase new ones, and restart the project from square one. To prevent this kind of error, it is advisable that you seek assistance from a NetSuite consultant who can help you determine which modules are best suited for your project.
2. Assemble your project management team
Your project team will work directly with your implementation partner and assume responsibility for all tasks that need to be completed internally. This includes duties such as running various aspects of change management within your organization, ensuring that appropriate testing and training is completed, and providing your implementation partner with all the information that is needed to correctly configure NetSuite.
Depending on the size and scope of your NetSuite project, it could involve a commitment of many hours a week – if not basically be a full-time job for each member of the team. Be sure to appoint a strong leader to advance the project. If necessary, you may also need to offer resources to assist your team with their regular daily work.
3. Configure NetSuite according to your needs
NetSuite has many different applications and each one comes with unique configuration. This is a very helpful tool, but you will likely want to do some configuration of your own. Every step you take to customize the software will allow for more efficiency in your specific organization. Work with your implementation partner closely on this phase, answer their questions, give them feedback, and arrange for them to meet with subject matter experts in your company. To help ensure that you don’t miss any necessary functions or processes, have your team go through the list of requirements from Step 1 to see what configuration will be needed.
4. Begin data migration
Are you moving data from all organizational departments to NetSuite? If so, you may want to set up a schedule and transfer data in sections so that you can test and make certain one set of data is working before moving onto the next. No matter how much data you are moving, always ensure that the information is perfected before attempting the migration. Moving data with issues such as inaccurate records, corrupted data, missing information, or duplicate records may only exacerbate problems. Don’t assume that you can just move it over and address glitches after the fact. Similar to moving from one house to another, it is always easier to organize and get rid of unneeded or broken items before packing and relocating, and the same applies to data migration.
5. Set up testing by experienced users
Testing is another one of the key phases of NetSuite project management. Test each module individually with the help of personnel within corresponding departments. Then give each department a chance to test the software and provide their feedback. Prepare to do more configuration based on the feedback that you receive. This is another area of the project that should not be glossed over. Employees who are distracted by their regular work may be tempted to simply take a quick look and neglect to review each aspect of the new software that correspond with their responsibilities. Do whatever it takes to ensure staff have adequate time to test. Every moment spent testing could save you from dealing with serious issues at the end of the project.
6. Train all departments that will be using NetSuite
Training is another vital element of a NetSuite project — but much like testing, it is an area that can get neglected. It is understood that people are busy and may feel that they only need a little bit of time to complete some quick training and will be good to go when the software is deployed. But it is extremely important that everyone understands that more training beforehand can make for the smoothest possible transition. Take it step by step and train in groups or sections. Start with department heads, then managers, and finish with end users. Each group will have their own unique set of needs so be sure to listen to feedback during this phase as more configurations may be required.
7. Ensure NetSuite integrations are completed
In addition to making sure everyone within your company can use NetSuite after your go-live, you will also need to verify that it is integrated with outside organizations. Any company you currently share data with or get data from will need to be integrated so that there are no miscommunications after your go-live.
Some of the most important NetSuite integrations include:
- Financial Institutions and Banks
- Payroll Companies
- Separate Internal Software
- E-Commerce Sites
8. Go-live with NetSuite
While many companies fear the go-live perhaps more than any other part of the project, you should do your best to think of it as a non-event. If you have done all the steps above and ensured that things such as data migration, configuration, integration, testing, and training were completed successfully, going live should be a breeze. That’s not to say that things can’t go wrong or that bugs can’t pop up, but if you are prepared, they won’t be nearly as difficult to manage. Put contingencies in place for issues, such as having the old system ready to go if necessary or having developers on standby to jump in and address bugs as they come up.
By following these tips, you can make every phase of NetSuite project management as easy as possible. But it still helps to get guidance from those who know the industry inside and out. Our consultants have years of experience with NetSuite, and they can help make sure your implementation is a success.