Navy ready to launch ERP system

The Navy Enterprise Resource Planning program, which includes financial management, project management and other key business applications, is about to go live after about three years of development.

BearingPoint, the lead systems integrator on the project, announced earlier this week that the Navy ERP had completed the testing, data convergence and validation phases of the project.

The Navy hired BearingPoint under a $175 million contract in 2004.

The Naval Air Systems Command (Navair) in Patuxent River, Md., with 15,000 users, will be first to use the system. After that, the Navy will turn on the ERP system next year at five Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar) locations with 10,000 users. The rollout will reach 88,000 users by 2013, officials said.

The initial release, which utilizes the SAP for Public Sector product, includes financial management, procurement and acquisition management, project management and workforce management functionality.

“The Navy decided in January 2006 that this implementation required an integrated project team to be successful,” said Phillip Gardner, a managing director with BearingPoint’s Navy business. “If you walked into the project offices in Annapolis as a new person, you wouldn’t know who is government and who is contractor unless you asked them.”

The Navy and BearingPoint team relied on an Earned Value Management System, a methodology which measures project financial and scheduling performance, to ensure it met its cost, schedule and performance metrics.

“The government usually makes the contractor implement EVMS but doesn’t include itself in that program,” Gardner said. “In this case the government used a single system for both the government and contracting efforts. I’ve been in program management for 20 years and this was the first time I’ve seen a truly integrated EVMS which included both government and contractors.”

The validation of the system included more than 21,000 test scripts and nearly 53 million data conversions in six testing cycles, Gardner said. The company included Navair personnel in testing the system.

The Navy’s achievement also is a big change from previous ERP attempts. The Government Accountability Office said in a September 2005 report that the service invested more than $1 billion since 1998 in ERP pilots and had not achieved marked business process improvements.

About the Author

Peter Buxbaum is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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