Just as the 1980s NHL Edmonton Oilers needed more than the scoring prowess of Wayne Gretzky and the 1992 USA Dream Team needed more than Michael Jordan, your ERP project team needs a wide range of key players to get the job done.
Following a recent blog on the importance and role of an ERP Project Champion—the person in charge of getting people on board, keeping morale high, and communicating progress, we would today like to explore the other people you need to include.
The Right People with the Right Know-How
In our Champions Whitepaper, one of the project champions discussed why it would be impossible to complete an implementation project without the right project team, noting that even if he was able to successfully get the CEO and executive team fully on-board, he needed to ensure users didn’t see this as an “IT decision,” but rather a “company decision.”
Why a Project Champion Can’t Do It Alone
Understanding his role as an IT leader as the ‘invisible hand’ behind the project, project champion Francisco Callegari, CIO at Guardian Sealtech knew that the key to success is to enlist the right people with the right know-how and take steps to link executive initiatives with the user community to ensure the project moves forward.
Building the right team does more than that as well. As discussed in our guest blog on Acumatica titled The Number One Success Factor for Moving to the Cloud, one of the best ways to prevent project derailment during the “informed pessimism” and “decision valley” stages of a business transformation is to establish a change management team who can keep information flowing.
Who Goes on the ERP Project Dream Team?
In their whitepaper, “Building the Best ERP Project Team,” our friends at Acumatica explored the key people or groups at your organization in addition to the project champion who help ensure a project stays on course:
The person in charge of deadlines, timelines, and project cost, the project leader needs to be a no-nonsense person who knows what it takes to complete an ERP project.
While previous project management experience is desirable, the primary characteristic of your team leader is leadership ability. This person should know and understand your business, have management skills, and be a good communicator.
He or she keeps the team organized and on track. The team leader chairs the weekly status meetings with the task leaders and coordinates between the various sectors of the business and tasks. The leader is the focal point for the project and represents the team and the project to upper management.
Department Representatives and End Users
The people most likely to balk at a change and the people who are going to end up using the software every day are immensely important. This group will help you understand what you need and why you need it, as well as be responsible for keeping morale high throughout the implementation process. As ERP touches so many departments, this should include at least one person from IT, finance, engineering, production, materials, service, sales, and more.
The overall project can be broken down into clearly identified tasks and responsibilities that can be arranged on a timeline (Gant or PERT chart) with names assigned to each task – your team members.
Again, it is important to assign team members to tasks that relate to their area of responsibility, both because they are the ones who know the most about how that area functions and they are the ones who will be affected by that part of the system when it goes live. They have good personal reasons to want the system to be a success.
The Project Team
Team members throughout varying levels of the business will need to work together if an ERP project is to be successful, and that is easier said than done. The core team needs to be prepared for employee resistance in a positive, effective way.Traits of a good team member:
- Willing to share information
- Information seeker
The Communications Team
System implementation is always a team effort. Get as many people involved in the project as early as possible – prior to and during system selection – so they feel like they have a stake in the system, a sense of “ownership.” And that includes more than the direct team members. Those not directly involved should also be able to follow along as the project proceeds, so there is less fear of change or fear of the unknown to dull their anticipation of the availability of these new business management tools.
Here to Help You on Your Journey: Get to Know Crestwood
At Crestwood, we know what it takes to ensure ERP projects go smoothly. We’ve been in this business long enough to know what we are doing and are big enough to prove that we’re successful. As one of the top implementation partners in the nation, we can help you to find the right solution, plan the project, complete the implementation and use your new software. Let’s get in touch.