Every ERP implementation needs an ERP implementation team and the difference between a strong team and weak team can be the difference between a successful ERP implementation and project which struggles to get off the ground. Each team member needs to have the right attitude and personality to contribute well to the team as well as the appropriate level of technical skill and knowledge to ensure the system works for the company. The right choice isn’t always the obvious choice, and selecting the appropriate candidate is often further complicated by internal politics and hierarchies within an organisation. So, we’ve put together this guide to give you a little help in selecting the appropriate candidates.
Golden Rules from the MD
- Choose people based on their competences, not on their job title. It’s a common mistake for companies to just select the management team, but often they are too busy and don’t actually know how all the grass roots processes work. Give others a chance and you will find some superstars in your company that you never knew you had.
- Empower your team to make decisions, this will not only speed up the project but also develop the skills of the project team.
- Support your team, have each member of the project board adopt a member of the project team; meet with them regularly, champion their concerns and escalate their issues. This way you can ensure that the team stick to the business objectives outlined at the start of the project.
- Creating buzz about the new system
- Encouraging the community to actively participate in the implementation
- Taking feedback from users and turning it into something constructive
Spokesperson, poster boy/girl, radiating charm and charisma, the champion should not only be able to sell the new system to every single employee in the business, they should also be able to translate the vaguest user criticism into constructive change to the ERP solution.
Everybody has to love them, but positivity alone isn’t enough. Savvy enough to see where users are struggling, the champion is the mediator between the solution and the people, infusing the company with enthusiasm for the new software and ensuring the software bends to the feedback of the masses so that, ultimately, the ERP solution is the best it can be.
- Thoroughly training the entire community
The patience of a saint
Like a wise prophet, the trainer should be a natural teacher with the patience of a saint. They must be able to adapt their teaching style to different levels of understanding and be willing to explain the same point over and over again.
They need to be able to answer any question, so a good understanding of the systems is also essential.
- Translating data into something meaningful for business decision making.
A lover of detail, but able to create a “big picture” analysis, the analyst should love making sense of information. They’ll be responsible for translating data from the new software into something meaningful for business decision making and that means they simply cannot afford to make mistakes.
A perfectionist with a very logical mind, the analyst will be driven by the desire to get to the bottom of the situation and present an accurate picture of the situation at hand. They should be capable of spotting patterns whether others can’t.
The Data Geek
- Taking legacy data and putting it into the new system
Meticulous attention to detail
A spreadsheet enthusiast, the data geek must have a passion for numbers and be excellent at data manipulation. They have the huge task of taking legacy data and putting it into the new system. Like the analyst, attention to detail and a perfectionist approach are essential to avoid costly errors.
- Giving technical support to all users
Translating “user speak” to “techie”
The techie should know more than everyone else about the operating system and have a thorough understanding of the organisation’s infrastructure.
They should be versatile, dealing with the MD’s connectivity issues on the beach in Barbados and infrastructure problems on the shop floor with the same efficiency.
The Project Manager
- Leading the implementation
- Overseeing the entire project and making sure objectives are achieved
Diplomacy; a clear vision of the ultimate objective
Overseeing the entire implementation is the project manager. The project manager is responsible for ensuring objectives are achieved and managing each member of the implementation team. The project manager is the ultimate all-rounder – a people person, with excellent judgement, quickness of mind to come up with solutions to problems and the assertiveness to make the right decision when necessary.
hey need to be cool under pressure, have proven competence and be able to delegate effectively. Most importantly, they need to have a clear vision of what you are all trying to achieve and be able to instil enthusiasm for this vision in everyone one, especially when the going gets tough and support might be waning.
The Process Guru
- Joining up the process flow
- Making sure the process suits the business
Seeing The Matrix
One of the sharpest minds in your business, the process guru should already be the go-to person when questions arise about process within their own area.
Now they need to get up to speed with the ins and outs of process across the whole business and figure out whether the chosen ERP solution will deliver.
But it’s not just seeing whether the current business process can be jammed together with the ERP software. The process guru must be able to envision a new way of doing things; an improved process and understand how the ERP software would help to deliver this. They need to see the numbers of the Matrix and understand how they can be manipulated into a new way of doing things.