06 Jun to Prepare Technical Specifications for the Development of ERP Extensions?
The most important question that every company faces while implementing the ERP extension is “where to start”? If you know how to start the process, it’s more likely to avoid unnecessary difficulties, alterations, and conflicts. That’s why you need to prepare the technical specifications. The development of ERP extension has its pitfalls that we are going to describe for you.
Why do you need technical specifications and can you do without them?
The technical specification is a document that describes all the needed requirements for the system. ERP-system is a very technological product. Therefore, both developers and managers are often tempted to plan the implementation to the maximum even before the start of work. This approach shows that the technological software system should be as algorithmized as possible.
Only by describing the project in technical specifications, you can see the real amount of work and therefore calculate its cost and timeframes. In addition, specifications are used in the process of the project’s preparation or during implementation. The final result often depends on the completeness of the information and the elaboration of details described in the document.
Theoretically, you can manage without the technical specifications. But in practice, it’s better to draw up a detailed document where you can write down all possible details so that there will be no controversial issues while implementing the ERP modules.
Preparation of the technical specifications
To create a comprehensive list of technical specifications that will include all extensions, documents, all the nuances of work needed for the successful implementation of ERP modules sometimes is very hard. The system is multifunctional, and any changes in one module may entail the need to make changes in another.
Preparing the technical specifications for ERP modules it’s essential to pay attention to such questions:
1. What are the main tasks that the module should solve?
2. What data (incoming and outgoing information) is needed to solve the problem?
3. What existing functionalities does the company use?
4. What frequent problems or questions can be written in advance?
5. In what form is it better to create technical specifications (instruction, visualization, usability)?
Our experience of technical specifications
What should be described in the technical specifications? Our experience shows that there should be such points as:
• Goal – the task that will be solved by implementing these specifications;
• Description – a summary of the upcoming improvements;
• Implementation method – a detailed description of the methods to achieve the goal. Here, it is necessary to describe all the nuances of the task: registers, directories we create / edit, how the interface should look like, etc. The description should be unambiguous and clear. It may also contain an example of the implementation of such a solution in another area;
• Parameters – terms, stages of implementation, responsible managers, necessary contacts, etc. The specifications must be agreed and signed by the parties in order to avoid numerous changes during development.
• Evaluation of work is a description of labor costs.
• The total cost of work for these technical specifications.
• Other terms and conditions.
After the technical specifications are composed, it’s time to find a team of developers according to the compiled technical specifications. If we talk about the complete process of ERP implementation, then there are several stages and usually, their consistent execution leads to the desired result. Here they are:
• Identification – determination of requirements, search for problems that need to be solved.
• Analysis – analysis of requirements, identification of key needs, generalization.
• Adaptation – assessment of requirements in the context of ERP module capabilities and existing system processes.
• Documentation – a formal and detailed description of requirements, approval of technical specifications.
• Communication with the developers – iterative interaction with the developers regarding improvements according to the compiled technical specifications.
• Implementation – the developers work on creating the necessary functionality.
• Testing – checking the functionality of the ERP-module, finding internal experts and end-users in order to establish compliance with the revision of technical specifications and the system’s performance.
Everything – from the processes of starting your project, planning the budget and the team, till creating technical specifications and its implementation – plays a significant role in the launch of the ERP-system. If all stages are done thoroughly, the concrete compilation of tasks will significantly accelerate processes and the decision-making efficiency of the whole project.
If you have any questions about customizing ERP, let us hear from you!