Your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system can only be successful if you have a robust ERP implementation team dedicated to the long-term success of your newest management solution. Cross-functional team members must take up the roles and responsibilities of ERP implementation to promote organizational growth.
The implementation team can determine whether an ERP project is successful. Assembling a skilled and collaborative team guarantees that your ERP solution will meet your organizational needs and objectives.
Read more to learn about the key team members who make ERP implementation possible!
Understanding ERP Implementation Team Structure
Representatives from different departments form an in-house ERP implementation team. Choose these people based on how well they thrive within their role and their understanding of the business.
Functional areas are essential to promote informed decision-making during the implementation stage. Different department heads have unique roles during implementation. So, who are the major players in ERP implementation?
1. The Project Champion: Driving Success from the Top
Also known as the executive sponsor, the project champion plays an important role in ERP implementation. The project champion provides leadership and support to the rest of the team. They have significant responsibility during the project and are usually senior management. As a team leader, the project champion guides the team throughout the implementation process. They are often CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs.
While smaller companies typically have an individual in this role, other businesses might have a group of senior management workers acting as the executive sponsor. The project champion has responsibilities, including:
- Establishing end goals for ERP projects.
- Addressing company issues and communicating with the implementation partner.
- Addressing project issues as they occur.
- Reviewing potential solutions from the implementation partner to maintain alignment with organizational needs.
2. The Project Manager: Orchestrating the Implementation
Project managers are crucial team players in ERP implementation. These individuals oversee all projects, ensuring they align with business goals. The project manager leads the project while tracking resources, budget, scope, and other key information. They work with the implementation team to adjust as necessary.
Some responsibilities of a typical project manager include:
- Managing project schedules.
- Overseeing the project’s budget and timing.
- Reporting on project progress.
- Coordinating team members, timelines, and resources.
- Helping resolve employee issues.
- Motivating team members.
- Assisting the project owner.
3. Subject Matter Experts (SMEs): Ensuring Domain Knowledge
Your implementation team requires subject matter experts (SMEs) from different departments. SMEs encourage fair and informed decision-making during implementation. They provide domain-specific knowledge to the ERP software project.
Sometimes referred to as functional team members, these experts often come from the manufacturing, IT, sales, logistics, and finance departments. They communicate complex domain-specific and technical knowledge to non-technical users. SMEs promote a cross-functional team.
Some additional responsibilities of SMEs are:
- Working with end-users to create implementation plans, a project plan, and processes.
- Designing and configuring software parameters.
- Aiding with status reporting.
- Noticing opportunities for improvement.
- Mentoring other team members.
4. Technical Experts: Handling the IT Aspects
Technical experts are crucial to managing the IT elements of your company. ERP technical experts, such as system administrators and developers, have essential knowledge of the ERP system. They address different organizational needs and help end-users with IT struggles.
These experts configure and customize the system. They ensure that the software meets your company’s objectives. Technical experts also understand the implementation process, making them invaluable for your ERP solution.
In smaller organizations that don’t have an internal IT team, the roles traditionally filled by the technical lead may fall to the implementation partner.
5. Change Management Specialists: Managing Organizational Transition
New ERP systems require a significant organizational transition that some employees might struggle with. Change management specialists facilitate user adoption, addressing change resistance and training new users.
Change management specialists have various responsibilities, including:
- Identifying users like super users and testing ERP software during the adoption stage.
- Communicating user feedback to the implementation partner.
- Maintaining ERP software expectations.
- Communicating software changes and promoting the solution to end users.
- Identifying training requirements for different departments.
- Creating training methodologies for the new ERP business process.
6. End Users: The User-Centric Approach
Always include end users in the ERP implementation team. They provide crucial feedback and help test the ERP system to identify issues early on. These users are a group of employees driving adoption following ERP implementation.
End users communicate with the rest of the implementation team to communicate issues and concerns with the ERP system. They must have technical knowledge and an understanding of company objectives to succeed.
Communication and Collaboration Within the Team
Ensuring the project goes smoothly requires effective communication skills and collaboration within the implementation team. Teams need effective communication practices from start to finish and ensure that all departments have a say in the ERP system.
Some crucial tools and practices fostering teamwork and information sharing include:
- Encouraging feedback and input from all departments.
- Fostering continuous improvement based on feedback loops.
- Implementing cross-functional workshops to align business objectives.
- Holding weekly or bi-weekly progress meetings to keep team members on the same page.
- Conducting frequent training sessions for the ERP system.
Establishing Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Having clearly defined roles and responsibilities within the implementation team is crucial to a seamless transition. Several potential challenges and conflicts can arise during complex projects. Team members might disagree with one another frequently, and resistance to change is a common problem among teams. Without clear responsibilities, communication is ineffective, and you might encounter issues with the transition because of a lack of expertise, insufficient training, and unclear requirements.
By fostering communication and clearly defining roles and responsibilities, you can avoid these common issues and ensure that everyone knows what’s expected from them. This process makes all members feel valued and involved in the ERP adoption process.
Best Practices for Building an Effective Team
So, what’s the secret to gathering and nurturing an effective ERP implementation team? A high-performing team is crucial to your success, and you can build the perfect team by remembering:
- Seek department representatives with diverse skill sets and industry knowledge.
- Provide thorough training for all team members, regardless of their level of expertise.
- Delegate roles and responsibilities and foster open communication to avoid inner-team conflict.
- Celebrate achievements when your implementation process is successful in maintaining your team’s motivation.
- Have open communication channels where team members can get efficient responses to any issues that arise.
- Foster an environment that encourages open collaboration and a team mindset.
- Know how to resolve conflicts when they arise and take effective resolution methods to mitigate damage.
- Promote active listening to address inner-team conflict.
- Share success stories to motivate your team members.
A strong ERP implementation team is essential for project success. Choosing the right team members fosters open communication and collaboration, and by establishing clear roles and responsibilities, you can ensure a successful implementation.
Identifying team leaders with expertise and knowledge of ERP solutions will make your ERP implementation seamless. Investing in a strong and dedicated team for your ERP implementation journey is vital.
Download our eBook today to learn more about building a powerhouse ERP project team.