ERP Project is a business project than an IT project. So, client ERP project team needs to represent all functions of the business in order to identify the right ERP solution for the business. The entire project would be at risk without the right project team members.
Project team members must have the requisite skills and experience to fulfill their roles. The right candidates are those who have a deep understanding of the organization, its processes and the relevant industry knowledge. If they also have the respect among their peers, that will give them the clout to gather the necessary information for the planning process. They would influence others in the organization to gain acceptance of the solution once it has reached.
Moving these best people out of day-to-day operations of the organization would have resistance given that the ERP project benefits can be realized by the organization only after 6 – 12 months. But the organization should realize that this is an important investment for the future growth and these people would make sure that the future organization growth is at its best through a successful ERP Implementation.
These people would need to spend most of their time for the ERP implementation till the project completion. The organization need to delegate some of their work load to other employees or temporary / contract employees to pick up the slack.
One among this team has to be selected as the leader, who would be accountable and responsible for this team’s success. The leader should have the authority to take decisions on this ERP project and ensure they establish a project plan & adhere to it. Preference to be given for one who has such prior ERP Project Implementation experience. Otherwise, it is better to recruit a project manager from outside of the organization, in order to find the right mix of talents & manage such project.
In general, the following types of individuals in the organization are to be avoided for the client project team:
1. The ‘9 to 5’ candidate
2. The ‘This person is threatening to leave, so I’ll keep them by putting them on this project’ candidate
3. The ‘I don’t know what to do with this person’ candidate
4. The ‘Not competent at the job they are currently doing’ candidateAn Independent ERP Consultant can be assured the role of program management for the ERP Project Implementation for the following reasons:
• Similar Project Implementation Expertise – An Independent ERP Consultant would have done many such ERP Project Implementations across industries. All those experience, expertise & industry best business practices would add great business value for the ERP Project.
• Political Consequence – An Independent ERP Consultant would drive (both client & implementation vendor teams) the project schedule to completion without fear of political implications. The implementation vendor team members (if they program manage) would be influenced by the fact that they have to exist, post-implementation in the client organization and so would focus on the political alignment within the client organization. Such approach can sub-optimize the program performance.
• Conflict of Interest – An Independent ERP Consultant would drive (both client & implementation vendor teams) & expand the information horizon and measures would be taken to introduce transparency & unbiased reporting. If the implementation vendor team program manages the project, the information provided on the project status can be biased, as it is from the same team doing the ERP project implementation.
Typical ERP Project Team Structure:
• The Steering Committee
o Strategic-level responsibility for the project plan review & approval, track project progress, take critical decisions
o Team members would be CXOs like CEO, CFO, CIO, key business heads, ERP project manager
• The Core Team
o Responsible for managing the implementation project
o Team members would be ERP project manager, functional leads, external consultants and key business-users.
• Functional Teams
o Ownership for implementation of the business process changes in their corresponding functional departments
o Team members would be core team key business-user, select business-users who would cover all the relevant business unit’s processes and a functional consultant with an understanding of the ERP application.