ERP Insights

An ERP Implementation Checklist for Success: From Foundation to Finish

Updated On:
Erp implementation checklist

Embarking on the journey of implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a monumental task, surprisingly similar to that of constructing a new home. Both endeavors require significant effort, meticulous planning, proper investments, and strategic thinking.

In this article we cover

This article explores the parallels between these two processes, highlighting their symbiotic relationship, and providing a useful checklist to guide organizations through each critical stage of ERP implementation.

An expert ERP implementation checklist helps guide your ERP project team through phases, keeping them on track and reducing implementation costs.

Download a printable .pdf with checklists for all 5 ERP implementation phases outlined below.

For optimal results, it is recommended to utilize the checklists in conjunction with information found in our ERP implementation guide.

The Parallel Worlds of Home Building and ERP System Implementation

Just as an architect carefully designs a home’s blueprint, considering every detail from the foundation to the roof, your ERP project manager and team must meticulously analyze your organization’s key business processes and interview stakeholders.

This is akin to selecting the right materials and layout for your dream home. After dedicating countless hours to software demonstrations, much like scrutinizing various building designs and plans, your team makes a pivotal decision: selecting a new ERP system. This marks the beginning of an exciting yet demanding phase, much like breaking ground on a new home construction.

While the evaluation and selection process were intensive, the actual implementation of the ERP solution can be even more challenging. It’s like the construction phase, where the resilience and capabilities of your staff and organization are tested in unprecedented ways, ensuring that the blueprint turns into a livable reality.

Strong and focused leadership is crucial, much like the role of a skilled contractor guiding the construction to fruition. An effective strategy for the leadership team is to maintain a detailed checklist for each ERP implementation phase, mirroring the construction checklist in home building.

This tool is invaluable for keeping the ERP implementation project on track, mitigating risks, increasing accountability, and ensuring organized and successful execution, so that your new ERP/home is built to specification, on time, and within budget.

It is worth noting that you might notice that many of the titles within the checklist are repeated in the various phases of the ERP Implementation plan. This is not a mistake; rather, as the Implementation progresses, certain activities and considerations must be revisited and reinforced to ensure the project’s success and alignment with evolving requirements and circumstances.

Planning: The Blueprint of Success with an ERP Implementation Checklist

The planning stage is foundational in both ERP implementation and home building. It involves setting clear goals, budgeting, understanding compliance needs, and assembling a skilled team.

In home construction, this might mean deciding on the home’s location, size, and style, while in ERP implementation, it involves understanding the business processes the system will support. Both require a vision for the future and a realistic assessment of current resources and constraints.

Incorporating the ERP Checklist into the planning phase ensures a comprehensive approach.

Erp implementation checklist phase 1

Click here to download the printable ERP implementation checklist

ERP Implementation Checklist for the Planning Phase

  1. Objective and Success Criteria: Begin by clearly defining the primary reasons for implementing the ERP system, such as improving efficiency, reducing manual tasks, integrating various systems, or enhancing data analysis capabilities. Set specific, measurable goals like reduced processing times, improved inventory management, or better reporting accuracy. Establish concrete benchmarks for success to evaluate the project’s effectiveness after implementation.
  2. Scope & Deliverables: Conduct a thorough review of the ERP vendor contract to understand and ensure adherence to terms, conditions, and deliverables. Collaborate with your project team to review and agree upon the Statement of Work (SOW), detailing the project’s scope, timeline, and specific deliverables. Develop a realistic project timeline that includes major milestones, dependencies, resources, and risk assessments.
  3. Resource Review: Assign clear roles and responsibilities to each team member, ensuring a balanced distribution of tasks. Address any conflicting priorities or resource constraints to prevent project delays. This task must be repeated throughout the project. Ensure that adequate resources (human, technical, financial) are allocated for the project’s needs.
  4. Budget Outline: Calculate the total cost of the ERP project, including software, hardware, training, and consulting fees. Break down the budget into phases aligned with the project timeline. Allocate funds to specific tasks and contingencies to manage financial risks effectively.
  5. Risk Assessment: Identify potential challenges in the ERP implementation process, such as technical difficulties, user resistance, or data migration issues. Develop strategies to mitigate these risks, including contingency plans or additional training programs.
  6. Communication Plan: Develop a communication strategy that clearly outlines how updates, changes, and decisions will be communicated to stakeholders. Plan for regular project status meetings and updates to keep all stakeholders informed. Implement feedback mechanisms to receive and address input from implementation team members and other stakeholders.
  7. Data Conversion Planning: Plan the data migration strategy for existing data into the new ERP solution, ensuring data integrity and compatibility. Include steps for cleaning and organizing data before migration. Establish processes for testing and validating the migrated data to ensure accuracy and functionality.
  8. Change Management: Develop strategies to manage the organizational changes introduced by the ERP implementation. Focus on staff training, communication, and support to ensure a smooth transition. Engage with employees and stakeholders to secure buy-in and minimize resistance. Develop comprehensive training programs to prepare staff for using the new system.
  9. Authorizations and Approvals: Ensure all necessary internal and external approvals are obtained for project milestones and decisions. Regularly check for compliance with legal, regulatory, and contractual requirements. Maintain documented evidence of all authorizations and approvals for future reference, ensuring the project meets all necessary standards and regulations.

Design: Measure Twice – Cut Once

The design phase is where dreams start taking a tangible shape. For a home, it involves architects drafting blueprints, considering both aesthetics and functionality. In the world of ERP, this translates to mapping out how the system will align with and enhance business processes.

The key in both scenarios is to design with the future in mind, ensuring scalability and flexibility.

Erp implementation checklist phase 2

Click here to download the printable ERP implementation checklist

ERP Implementation Checklist for the Design Phase

  1. Gathering Department Requirements: Start by conducting meetings with each department to understand their specific requirements, challenges, and expectations from the ERP system. Document these unique needs accurately, ensuring all functional requirements are captured. Then, prioritize these requirements based on their importance and impact on the organization’s overall objectives.
  2. Process Mapping: Create detailed diagrams to visualize current workflows and how they will be adapted within the ERP system. Look for opportunities to optimize processes for efficiency gains during this mapping phase. Once the maps are created, present them to stakeholders for validation and to gather feedback.
  3. Customizations: Identify specific customizations needed in the core software and any third-party applications to meet the unique needs of your business. Plan the development of these custom features, including setting timelines and allocating resources. Also, analyze the potential impact of these customizations on system performance and future scalability.
  4. Integrations: Compile a list of all existing systems and data sources that need to be integrated with the ERP. Develop an integration strategy considering data flow and system compatibility. Plan for rigorous testing to ensure seamless integration between the ERP and these existing systems.
  5. Data Mapping: Detail the process of how data will be transferred from existing systems to the new ERP solution. Plan the organization and structure of data within the ERP to ensure usability and accessibility. Implement measures to maintain data accuracy and integrity during the transfer.
  6. Security: Incorporate robust security protocols into the ERP design, including data encryption, access controls, and audit trails. Ensure that the system complies with industry-specific security and privacy regulations. Include comprehensive security testing in the design phase to identify and address any vulnerabilities.
  7. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) & User Guides: Develop clear and concise SOPs for end-users that outline common tasks within the new system. Create comprehensive user guides and manuals that provide step-by-step instructions and troubleshooting tips. Establish a feedback loop for updating SOPs and guides based on user feedback and system updates.
  8. Change Management: Assess the organizational impact of implementing the ERP system, including changes to roles and workflows. Develop a communication strategy to keep all stakeholders and employees informed and engaged throughout the transition. Plan for extensive training and ongoing support to ease the transition for employees.
  9. Resource Review: Evaluate the resources (human, technological, financial) required for the design phase of the ERP implementation. Develop a plan for effectively allocating these resources to meet project timelines and objectives. Look for opportunities to optimize resource use to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
  10. Risk Assessment: Identify potential risks associated with the design and implementation of the ERP system. Analyze the likelihood and impact of these risks. Develop strategies to mitigate these risks, including contingency plans, to ensure a smooth ERP implementation process.
  11. Budget & Contract Review: Begin by thoroughly reviewing the ERP project’s budget allocations to ensure adequate funding for each phase. This step is crucial for maintaining financial health and avoiding unforeseen expenses. Additionally, review all contractual agreements with vendors and service providers. This process is essential to ensure that both parties have clarity and comply with the agreed terms. Finally, conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. This analysis will validate the project’s financial viability, ensuring that the benefits of the ERP system outweigh its costs and that it’s a sound investment for the company.
  12. Communication Plan: Establish a robust plan for regular and transparent communication with all stakeholders involved in the ERP implementation process. This plan should detail how and when updates on project progress, changes, and milestones will be communicated. Effective communication is vital to keep everyone aligned and informed. Additionally, create channels for stakeholders to provide feedback and raise concerns. These channels are crucial for maintaining open lines of communication and ensuring that any issues or suggestions are addressed promptly, thereby fostering a collaborative environment and ensuring the successful implementation of the ERP solution. 

Build: Constructing Your Digital Home’

The build phase is where plans and designs are brought to life. In home building, this is the construction phase – laying foundations, erecting walls, and installing systems. In ERP terms, this is about configuring the software, integrating it into existing systems, and ensuring everything functions as planned.

Both processes require meticulous attention to detail and effective project management to stay true to the initial vision.

Erp implementation checklist phase 3

Click here to download the printable ERP implementation checklist

ERP Implementation Checklist for the Build Phase

  1. System Configuration: Adjust the ERP software settings to align with the decisions made in the design phase, ensuring the system meets your organization’s specific needs. Check that these configurations match the detailed functional requirements set earlier, guaranteeing that the system will operate as intended and fulfill its designated roles effectively.
  2. Integration Setup: The integration of the ERP system with your existing business systems and software, as outlined in the design phase. Conduct thorough integration testing for each system connection to ensure seamless data flow and compatibility, resolving any issues that arise to guarantee smooth interoperability between the systems.
  3. Data Migration: Execute the migration of data from old systems to the new ERP system, following the data mapping and planning completed earlier. After migration, verify the integrity and accuracy of the data to ensure that all information is correctly transferred and functional within the new system.
  4. Custom Development: Develop custom modules or features to address specific business needs that standard ERP functionalities may not cover. Ensure that these customizations integrate well into the overall system design and do not interfere with other functionalities of the ERP system.
  5. User Interface Customization: Tailor the ERP system’s user interface to improve usability and align with your business’s branding. This step enhances the user experience, making it more intuitive. Conduct feedback sessions with users to gather insights for further UI improvements, ensuring it meets end-user expectations and preferences.
  6. Testing and Quality Assurance: Perform comprehensive system testing across the entire ERP system to identify any software bugs, performance issues, or integration glitches. Address and resolve any issues found to ensure the system is robust, reliable, and ready for operational deployment.
  7. User Training and Documentation: Organize extensive training sessions for end-users, helping them become familiar with the new system, its features, and its functionalities. Develop and distribute user manuals, guides, and documentation that provide detailed instructions and support, facilitating a smooth transition for users.
  8. Performance Tuning: Optimize the ERP system for peak performance, ensuring fast, efficient, and smooth operations. Continuously monitor the system’s load and performance, and make necessary adjustments and configurations to maintain optimal functionality and prevent any operational bottlenecks.
  9. Security Implementation: Implement robust security measures within the ERP system to protect sensitive business data. Regularly review and update these security protocols to address new threats and vulnerabilities, maintaining a high level of data protection and system security.
  10. Project Management and Review: Closely monitor the progress of the ERP implementation project, comparing it against the planned timeline and budget to ensure it remains on track. Conduct regular progress reviews with the project team to discuss challenges, address issues promptly, and avoid delays, ensuring a smooth and efficient project execution.

Deployment or Completion: The Grand Unveiling

Deploying an ERP system and completing a home build are both significant milestones. They mark the transition from theoretical planning to practical, functional reality. In home building, this is the moment the keys are handed over, and the building becomes a livable space. For an ERP solution, it’s when the system goes live, and staff begin to utilize it in day-to-day operations.

This phase is characterized by feelings of accomplishment and the excitement of starting a new chapter.

Erp implementation checklist phase 4

Click here to download the printable ERP implementation checklist

ERP Implementation Checklist for the Deployment Phase

  1. Final System Review and Approval: Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the ERP solution to ensure every component functions as intended and meets project specifications. Secure the final approvals from key stakeholders, such as department heads and IT leadership, to confirm the system’s readiness for deployment.
  2. Data Verification: Perform an accuracy check to ensure all data has been correctly migrated from legacy systems and is properly integrated into the ERP system. Conduct final checks to confirm data integrity, ensuring there is no corruption or loss of data during the migration process.
  3. User Training Completion: Verify that all end-users have received and completed the necessary training to use the new system proficiently. If needed, provide additional resources, refresher courses, or extra training sessions to ensure all users are comfortable and fully prepared for the system launch.
  4. Go-Live Preparation: Develop a detailed plan for the ERP system’s go-live, outlining all necessary steps and contingencies for the launch date. Communicate the go-live schedule, processes, and expectations effectively to all relevant parties, including staff, management, and IT support teams.
  5. Backup and Recovery Plans: Establish comprehensive backup and recovery procedures to safeguard data. Test these backup systems and procedures rigorously to ensure their reliability and effectiveness in maintaining data safety post-deployment.
  6. System Performance Optimization: Finalize performance tuning to optimize the ERP system’s operation, ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. Verify the system’s capacity to handle the anticipated load and usage levels without any degradation in performance.
  7. Security Protocols: Implement and verify the final security measures, ensuring all ERP system components are secure and any vulnerabilities are addressed. Confirm that the system complies with all relevant data protection and privacy regulations, thus safeguarding sensitive information.
  8. Support and Maintenance Structure: Set up a dedicated support structure to handle any queries, issues, or technical support requests after deployment. Plan regular maintenance schedules and processes to ensure the ongoing health and performance of the ERP system.
  9. Go-Live Execution: Officially launch the ERP system for use across the organization. Closely monitor system performance and user interaction during the initial phase of usage to identify and promptly address any immediate concerns.
  10. Post-Deployment Review and Feedback Collection: Gather initial feedback from users about the system’s performance, usability, and any difficulties encountered. Schedule a post-deployment review meeting to discuss this feedback, assess the implementation’s success, and address any immediate issues or areas for improvement.

Ongoing Maintenance: Preserving and Enhancing Value

Just as a new home requires ongoing maintenance to remain a comfortable and safe living space, an ERP system needs regular updates, troubleshooting, and adaptations to meet evolving business needs. This ongoing effort ensures that both the home and the ERP system continue to provide maximum value and remain fit for their intended purpose over the long term. ERP implementation costs should also factor in ongoing maintenance.

Erp implementation checklist phase 5

Click here to download the printable ERP implementation checklist

ERP Implementation Checklist for Ongoing Maintenance

  1. Regular System Updates: Establish a regular schedule for updating ERP software to ensure continuous access to the latest features and security patches. Before implementing these updates, verify their compatibility with existing customizations and integrations to prevent disruptions to your system’s functionality.
  2. Performance Monitoring: Continuously monitor the ERP software to identify any performance issues or bottlenecks that may emerge. Implement necessary adjustments and optimizations to maintain or enhance the efficiency and user experience of the system.
  3. User Feedback and Support: Create a structured system for collecting and analyzing user feedback regarding the ERP system’s functionality and usability. Provide responsive and ongoing user support to address any issues, queries, or concerns, ensuring a consistently smooth experience for all users.
  4. Data Backup and Recovery: Maintain a consistent backup schedule for the ERP system to safeguard against data loss. Regularly test data recovery procedures to ensure their effectiveness and the maintenance of data integrity under any circumstances.
  5. Security Monitoring and Updates: Continuously monitor the ERP system for security threats or vulnerabilities. Implement security updates and patches promptly to protect the system from potential cyber threats and maintain a high level of security.
  6. Training Plan and Documentation Updates: Keep training plan materials and system documentation regularly updated to reflect any changes or updates in the ERP system. Offer ongoing training opportunities for users to familiarize them with new features, updates, or changes, ensuring they are proficient in using the system.
  7. Compliance Checks: Consistently review the ERP system to ensure it complies with relevant industry regulations and standards. Adjust system settings and processes to stay aligned with regulatory changes and requirements.
  8. Customization and Integration Management: Periodically review and update any customizations to the ERP software to ensure they continue to meet the business’s evolving needs. Check the compatibility of any new integrations or updates with the existing ERP environment to ensure they do not disrupt ongoing operations.
  9. Resource Allocation for Maintenance: Allocate sufficient budgetary and personnel resources for ongoing ERP system maintenance activities. Develop and update a long-term maintenance strategy for future system upgrades and enhancements.
  10. Strategic Review and Planning: Regularly review the ERP system’s alignment with the organization’s business goals and strategies. Plan for future system enhancements or changes based on organizational growth, market evolution, and technological advancements, ensuring the ERP system remains effective and relevant.


The parallel paths of ERP implementations and building a new home underscore a universal truth: significant endeavors require vision, careful planning, and dedicated effort. While one yields a tangible structure to live in and the other a digital framework to operate in, both are instrumental in shaping the future. They are journeys of transformation, each step marked by decisions that pave the way for success.

Whether laying the foundation for a family’s future in their new home or steering a business towards greater efficiency with a successful ERP implementation, the results are transformative, providing a platform for growth and prosperity. Welcome Home to your new ERP!

Need help selecting and pricing an ERP system for your business? We can fast-track your selection process with expert recommendations. Contact us today.

Pricing Request Demo Request White Paper Request

Please complete the fields below to receive your confirmation email Please complete the fields below to receive your confirmation via email To download your white paper, complete fields below. Check your inbox for the white paper link..

Manufacturing ERP Graphic

Congratulations, you're a step closer to finding the right ERP System.

A confirmation email from is on its way to your inbox. This email will include information on the resources you requested.

Thank you for visiting We greatly value hearing from our visitors. Please share your comments, questions and feedback regarding your experience on