How to Improve ERP Rollouts

I have worked on ERP and shop floor data management software roll outs. A few general thoughts to smooth the implementation would be:
1. Have training documentation experts with those doing beta testing, to capture user questions to be incorporated into user training
2. If you have a solution / help desk database, have one of those team members present at beta testing as well. Bug finding is when you want to capture both the cause, and any possible work around and solution.
3. Test all data exchange formats your customer’s users, as well as next generation formats they may use. (For example, if they’re uploading data on IE 8.0 browser sessions, test it for IE 9.0 and 10 as well).
4. If you have automated test, be certain to have a person walk through some of it as well. I have observed that automated test systems like Mercury may record a test as passed when a real person may see a dead end. And since automated tests are determined by test engineer set up, errors or “features” may not be recognized as failures.
5. If there is a workflow, whether for approval of purchases or changes to a bill of material, be sure to test off “the happy path”. The “Happy Path” is when everything is an approval on the workflow. “Off the happy path” is what happens when a Purchase Request is rejected (does the system work right in that loop?), when a surprise problem leads to running out of stock (does it error out if stock reaches zero?), when an overage percentage is reduced due to financial constraints (does the system then cancel orders or attempt to adjust actual planning for kits on the shop floor?)
6. Training, training, training. The more familiar the new users are at go live, the fewer problems there will be. If possible, create training tailored to each job function.

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