What is proof of concept in project management, specifically ERP project management? Project managers use proof of concept (POC) testing to determine whether their software requirements can be fulfilled in a given system.

Conducting test scenarios is essential during ERP selection. It ensures that the system you’re considering will work for specific business scenarios.

Read on to learn how a well-crafted POC can help you understand how an ERP platform functions and determine how well it can meet your needs.

What is Proof of Concept in Project Management?

Put simply, a proof of concept demonstrates how a product will work in a given situation. When an organization is evaluating enterprise software vendors, it might conduct a proof of concept modeling session with an ERP consultant. This gives the team the opportunity to test whether their use cases are feasible from a technology standpoint.

3 Benefits of POC Sessions

1. Identify Early Issues

A proof of concept allows business process owners to identify any business/IT misalignment that could interfere with a project’s success.

In addition to testing the software, companies can use this time to gather internal feedback about its usability and functionality. This way, they can see if a specific system is a good fit and avoid unnecessary risk.

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2. Gain Executive Buy-in

If the POC test scenarios come back successful, this is a strong sign that the ERP solution will support the team’s performance. Project leaders can use these reports to persuade C-suite executives to support the initiative.

3. Streamline Planning

With a POC in place, it’s easier to figure out project logistics. Project managers can map out how each functional group will operate, and ensure they have the correct resources in place before moving forward.

How to Write a POC

When creating a POC for your ERP project, it helps to follow a formula. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1: Describe the Problem You Need to Solve

Gather your business requirements by meeting with employees and department leaders to understand their processes. By understanding their needs and pain points, you can determine what you need the ERP software to do.

Step 2: Define Pass/Fail Metrics

To analyze the data from your proof of concept, you need to define what results you’ll consider a success vs. a failure. Be specific when setting these performance standards and resist the urge to broaden them to make the scenarios seem more feasible.

For example, you may need manufacturing ERP software that automates certain manual tasks, such as supplier account management. Add these thresholds to your POC to make sure the solution you choose can perform these important steps.

Step 3: Set POC Scope and Timeline

Finally, determine how long the POC sessions will take, and how it will fit into your overall project timeline. Remember to allot time to do task recordings, collect user feedback, and request software configurations or customization.

Have You Defined Test Scenarios for Your Vendor?

What is proof of concept in project management, and how does this apply to ERP implementations? A POC can be used to measure an ERP solution against specific test scenarios, so you can eliminate solutions that won’t work and ensure you’re selecting the best one for your needs.

Especially in the early stages of an ERP project, it’s easy to have ambitious ideas about what you expect the software to do. Then, you attend some unscripted vendor demos, and they surpass your expectations. A proof of concept is one of the best ways to come back to Earth.

Our ERP consulting team can help you conduct proof of concept modeling sessions for your various process areas. Request a free consultation below.

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