Completing an R12 upgrade is no small feat. Having completed an 11.5.10 to 12.1.3 upgrade for the AP module including E-Business Tax, Suppliers and Payments myself, I can truly say there are some things I wish I had known.
There are plenty of possible setbacks and room for error. But don’t back out just yet; I’m here to help. Here’s a quick list to keep your upgrade on-time, under budget and complication free.
- Know the ins and outs of what exists
- Gather all the documentation for customizations, process maps and user guides into a central location and ask users to check if you have missed anything. This will help you understand the processes and give you an idea of what documentation people use and will need updated for the new release.
- Complete a review of all your current customizations to determine what is being used and what cannot be upgraded. You will later be able to compare the list against new functionality that could make a customization obsolete.
- Spend time sitting with the users. Learning their processes will help build awareness about the project. It will also help you get an understanding of who uses Oracle and how.
- Keep in mind that though the goal of the upgrade is to improve processes, you can’t give everyone everything they want. Don’t underestimate the effort that will be required just to upgrade, adding a huge list of changes is a sure way to fail. Stick to the necessary for this time.
- Research the main areas that will be changing, then outline the impacts the changes will have on your organization and all business processes.
- Make note of manuals but make use of real-life resources. Use forums to connect with others who have successfully upgraded and get their perspective.
- Gain business buy-in by sharing your case. Lay out what you have found and your next step recommendation backed by the users you’ve been working with. Including user impact and perspective will benefit your business case.
- Be aware that not all data is easy to read during upgrading. Having a good reporting tool can determine overall success of the entire project. Being able to quickly receive results and identify an issue can save you time and money. Having a reporting tool that can handle 11i and R12 is ideal so that if any issues arise, Oracle can provide a Generic Data Fix (GDF) quickly.
- On that note, if your business is considering when to upgrade to a new reporting tool do it now rather than later. A little bit of double work might be the result but the time you will save in testing will be worth it.
- Leave no user behind. Involve as many users as you can at various stages of testing. Doing so will increase your chances of ensuring there are no surprises. In my own experience, I witnessed a user discover an issue with Invoice headers during a round of testing. They discovered that Invoice headers weren’t showing up on the standard Hold report as it had in the past. Such a finding was critical because if someone is relying on Oracle reporting as they were, they would have to build a custom report to go live.
- Sit with the users when they are testing so that you can give guidance. Identify areas that need further documentation during this time. Consider booking a room and do a whole day of testing. Taking the user away from the usual disruptions will help get their full attention.
- Have users test all scenarios multiple times. Test old transactions, new transactions and any changes in the process that you have determined. Then have them complete their hand-off if there is one to the next users and complete that test too.
- Finally, you’ve completed all the above steps and are ready to launch. But, your job isn’t quite over yet. Now is the time to be one with the team. Be present with users on launch day. The last thing they want to do in such a situation is be left to read a manual.
- After a month, have a review process to ensure everyone is happy and all is running smoothly. Use this as an opportunity for users to raise an issue that they may have brushed off initially.
Looking for more information on reporting options for your Oracle R12 upgrade? Download this eBook for an inside look at your choices and next steps for moving forward.