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Conducting a fit gap analysis for enterprise resource planning systems

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Conducting a fit gap analysis for enterprise resource planning systems

When a business is seeking to upgrade its systems environment through implementing a unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, the question of which software vendor to choose comes into play. A unified ERP solution provides a way to automate business processes and workflows to facilitate the flow of information across different functional areas and business units. In order to implement the right solution that will streamline business functions, a fit gap analysis is often used to plan the scope, approach, resources, and timing for the delivery. Generally, a fit gap analysis determines gaps in functionality when comparing operating or business requirements for the organization to system capabilities.

How is a fit gap analysis leveraged?

During a fit gap analysis project, a project plan is defined as well as its stakeholders who ultimately drive tactical and strategic decisions. Discovery workshops are conducted and end users from each organizational department are interviewed to define their business requirements. Gathering these requirements provide visibility into software vendors’ applicability and potential gaps with the current systems used in the organization. Once the workshops and documentation have been completed, the initial vendor proposals and prior system evaluations will be reviewed. Important inquiries around deployment plan, technical architecture, and cost will help refine the initial business requirements into key requirements.  

After the discovery phase, the requirements matrix is used to analyze how it applies to the vendor proposals by assigning ratings for the fit gap analysis. This guides the cost-benefit analysis that confirms cost estimates and assumptions. Through this analysis phase, the vendor proposals are updated to develop the deployment plan for each option.

This roadmap is an iterative approach, the stakeholder group will help refine the deployment plans with their feedback and adjust the final fit gap analysis report. Ultimately, these finishing adjustments will determine which ERP solution best fits the company needs.

What happens now?

After the final deliverable is assessed, each vendor will schedule demonstrations to present its capabilities and benefits as well as answer any questions on how to address any functionality gaps. These meetings help determine the needs for the final vendor selection and conclude the fit gap analysis process.

In conclusion, a fit gap analysis provides an in-depth examination into a company’s business functions and provide realistic implementation approaches for each software vendor. When a business cannot afford to risk day-to-day operations to incorporate a wide-scale IT implementation, utilizing a fit gap analysis takes out the guesswork and mitigates potential threats to a successful integration.