ERP development life cycle

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are integrated information systems. They are developed as commercial software packages. Here the aim to support most of the operations of a company. ERP include standard models of business processes have a large functional scope. When deciding to use such ERP systems, companies hope to achieve manifold benefits which include the integration of business processes, the increase of possibilities to control the company’s operations, the technological updating, IT cost reduction and access to quality information in real time for decision taking.

The life cycle of information systems represents the various stages which include project development and utilization of information systems passes through. Systems development life cycle encompasses project definition, system study, design, programming, installation and post-implementation stages. Waterfall model and protyping are the two different approaches for system development. In waterfall model the stages are executed sequentially and only once for each system, and prototyping, where the stages are repeated, refining an initial solution.

Implementation is the second stage of the ERP systems’life cycle, although the term is also used to represent the full life cycle. The implementation is the process by which the system’s modules are put into operation within a company. This stage encompasses the tasks from the end of implementation plan’s concept to the beginning of the operation. Implementation entails adjustment of the business process to the system then eventual customizing of the system and also the loading or conversion of initial data, hardware and software configuration, training of the users and managers and the offer for support and help etc. Difficulties are mainly due to the organizational changes due to the changes of the tasks and responsibilities of individuals and department, transformations in the relationships among the different departments.

ERP system implementation is generally for the optimization of the global processes of the company. They may cause as a counterpart changes in the activities in most of the departments involved. The process of adjustment of the ERP system is part of the implementation stage. These is achieved by the adjustment of parameters or software customizing and to the development of programs to modify or complement the existing functions. The decision on how the start of the operation of the ERP system is taken in the implementation stage. The start may also occur in phases and here the approach used to implement an ERP system is an important decision in its implementation project as it greatly affects the configuration of the system.

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