In this blog post your will find the steps that I recommend taking when upgrading your current M3-installation.
First – establish the scope of the project
I always recommend that you do what I call a 1-2-1 lift, which in essence means that no process changes will be within this project scope. My recommendation is to collect all the suggested process changes and development through-out the process so that you, after a successful upgrade, could start prioritizing a number of change projects to improve the existing processes. These change projects, or phase 2 as I normally call them, could be about changing settings or extend the usage of your current M3 functionality.
The 1-2-1 approach also implies that you minimize the project risk substantially. The time of investigating possible process changes could quickly and easily be placed out of scope without risking the upgrade project plan or budget.
So, here are my 9 steps of best practice when it comes to upgrading your M3.
1. Analyze current modifications and integrations
The purpose of this is to evaluate if they are needed in the upgraded version of the ERP or if the modified functionality could be replaced by standard functionality in the new version.
2. Establish a budget for the project
When the list of modifications and integrations that will be upgraded is established, we can also set a budget for the project.
3. Initiate the project and execute the modifications
4. Verify the modifications and the integrations. Migrate data from the current version.
5. Educate key users/super users in the new version.
Focus on the changed and/or new functionality that affects the process.
6. Verify the new version
Key users / super users should verify the new version, checking that the upgraded modifications and integrations still support current business processes in a correct way. Simultaneously, the migrated data should be checked. The outcome of the verifications is to be analyzed and then the steering committee makes a decision if the project should be entering the next phase.
7. Inform your users
Inform and educate all users of the new functionality. My experience is that this normally takes 1 hour and it could be done as an online meeting, led by a super user.
8. Full scale test!
A new migration is done and is tested by all users - I call this a full scale test.
9. Time to re-direct the production site
When the full scale test is approved, it is time to re-direct the production site to the new environment. Normally, this is done during a weekend. On Friday, the old version is shut down. A migration job is started to migrate the database to the new version and integrations are moved to the new environment.
When this is done, the job is verified, which is normally handled during a Saturday. On Sunday, a couple of sample tests are performed together with some key transactions to verify that the system is running as planned.
If you are happy with the sample tests, you will then have to wait with excitement until Monday morning when all users are logging onto the system to start working in the new version.
Celebrate a successful upgrade!
Well done! Make sure you and your team celebrate properly and make sure you evaluate the project.
Some of the main advantages of the later versions of Infor M3 are the possibility of personalize and make your M3 more efficient. My recommendation is to enable time and budget for proper initial training and education in the tool.
Normally, key users / super users choose to create some of the most common personalizations to be introduced at go live. After that, several personalizations will follow in phase 2 to ensure that the user experience is simplified and developed.