An ERP implementation requires an investment in human and financial resources, regardless of the size or scope of the project.
Assembling the right team is absolutely essential for the success of any ERP project, which requires building a healthy team structure as well as choosing the right team members. Your team will help you identify your ERP requirements, assess vendors and their product offerings and get your whole company ready for a smooth handover.
In this article, we look at the most common team structure and three guiding principles to follow when selecting the best team for your ERP implementation project.
How do you know when your organisation is ready for an ERP change? Take our short evaluation questionnaire to find out.
What will your project steering team look like?
An ERP project will affect every functional area of your business, which means everyone from senior leadership to middle management and staff-level employees will be involved throughout the implementation at some point. The following structure is what an ERP implementation team structure might look like:
Executive sponsor. The executive sponsor is a member of senior management and the spearhead of the project. The sponsor should provide high-level guidance to the rest of the team to ensure the ERP system is achieving business goals once it goes live.
Project manager. The project manager will primarily manage, plan, control and coordinate the project from the business’ perspective with the objective to complete project on time and within budget. He or she should be a senior or middle manager who has experience in several different functional areas. Other tasks might include scheduling, planning and conducting meetings, identifying problems and tracking the project’s progress.
IT manager. The internal IT manager is responsible for coordinating all IT-related activities between the business and the ERP vendor, as well as any third-party staff. Daily tasks of the IT manager involve developing plans, supporting team activities, and acquiring resources.
The user team. The user team fills out the rest of the staff in charge of the implementation, and will feature users with a mix of authority, company knowledge and temperament. The team should also include people from every functional area to be affected by the ERP system, such as manufacturing, sales, finance, engineering, etc. The user team will work with the vendor to find the best way to use the software to support business objectives and test the system before it goes live.
The three principles of establishing your project team
#1: Choose people based on their competencies, not on their job title. It’s common for companies to choose team members at the managerial level because they assume managers are more knowledgeable about the project. While this can be true, they tend to be quite busy, which can result in the project taking longer than expected. Non-management employees may be equally as knowledgeable and will have more time to dedicate to a project.
#2: Empower your team to make decisions. Some employees may have a much clearer picture of how to improve the process, but you won’t know unless they speak up. Empower your team to express their own ideas – it could help increase productivity and efficiency.
#3: Keep everyone on the same page. This is essential for an ongoing project. A daily meeting, whether done in person or using a business communication tool, is necessary, especially when it comes to reviewing where the team is at, what they are going to achieve, and if there’s any obstacles that could become problems if not addressed.
There is a lot of planning required before an ERP project is launched. Choosing the right people with clear goals is the foundation of a successful changeover project. Not only will the right team make the process more productive, it can save you time and money too.
How can you eliminate wasted time and effort in your business’s ERP journey? Download our full guide to get more in-depth insights, advice and strategies to help you achieve stakeholder alignment in your business, so that you can experience the benefits of a modern, efficient ERP backbone for success.