Cohesive enterprise resource planning (ERP) teams are crucial for successful ERP implementation that improves your business. Implementation simplifies many business processes, from HR to accounting, project management, and more, to simplify your daily operations.
However, without a cross-functional team, your ERP implementation process will become much more challenging than necessary. Your team can make or break implementation and your ERP solution’s effectiveness in simplifying various processes.
So, what are the building blocks for winning ERP teams? How can you assemble functional team members, and what project stages are necessary for effective implementation? Read more to find out everything about your ERP team’s role in implementing your new system.
Understanding ERP Implementation
ERP describes modern systems critical to businesses that simplify many business processes, including accounting, HR, inventory and order handling, and project management. These systems help improve department communication skills by linking employees through a central database that summarizes company operations.
There are several reasons for implementing an ERP system. Successful implementation streamlines several operations, improves organizational efficiency, and enhances decision-making capabilities to meet your needs. When you choose the right implementation partner or team for your ERP solution, you can ensure an effective system.
Building the Right Team
Creating a robust team is the key to the long-term success of your ERP system. You’ll need a cross-functional team of experts from different departments to ensure the implementation is effective for everyone involved. It’s critical to assign leadership and project management roles to ensure the process is seamless and successful, with minimal interruptions to your typical business process.
ERP Teams: Key Roles and Responsibilities
There are critical roles and responsibilities that your ERP team members must fulfill to ensure successful implementation:
The Executive Sponsor
Also known as the project champion, the executive sponsor offers leadership and support to the rest of the implementation team. This individual or group of employees is typically a member of senior management and holds a high-level position like CIO, CTO, or CDO. They hold various responsibilities, including:
- Developing end goals for ERP projects.
- Addressing organizational and project issues as they arise.
- Reviewing potential solutions offered by the implementation partner.
The Project Manager
The project manager oversees the entire ERP implementation project to guarantee that all decisions align with business goals. This individual leads the project while tracking project resources, budget, and scope. They might hold the following responsibilities:
- Managing schedules
- Overseeing budget and timing
- Reporting project progress
- Coordinating team members, timelines, and resources
- Resolving employee issues
- Motivating team members
- Assisting project owners
These specialists help manage the project by focusing on IT elements. Specialists have advanced knowledge of the ERP system and can address your company’s needs while navigating IT struggles that arise during implementation. IT specialists also help configure and customize your ERP solution to ensure it meets your goals. These individuals are often super users, meaning they’re highly familiar with your system’s technical capabilities and features and can understand various technical processes to navigate implementation.
End users are a critical component of ERP teams because they offer essential feedback and help test ERP solutions to identify issues early. They are typically groups of employees that help drive ERP system adoption after implementation. End users communicate with the implementation team to address issues and concerns with the new ERP software and align the project with organizational objectives.
Vendors and Consultants
Choosing the right ERP vendor and consultant is crucial to successful implementation, as these individuals guide you through the entire process. Consultants simplify getting a new ERP solution up and running and help you determine areas for improvement in your current solution. They help in simplifying getting a new ERP solution up and running, and help identify areas of improvement in your current solution while ensuring its deployment within your budget and schedule.
Planning and Strategy
Having an actionable strategy is the key to successful ERP implementation. Always start the process by setting clear objectives with your team about what you hope to achieve through implementation–for example, is your ERP system focused on enhancing your supply chain management processes, or is it more suited for other purposes? Will your system need to be scalable?
Also, have a clear scope and budget for your ERP implementation project. A consultant can help you ensure that your project doesn’t exceed its budget to avoid costly issues down the line. Finally, a detailed project plan is critical to successful implementation. This plan outlines your system’s configuration, workflows, data requirements, and more to ensure a cohesive and seamless implementation.
Communication and Collaboration
There’s no denying the importance of effective communication between ERP team members. Promoting cross-departmental collaboration is crucial for a seamless implementation process with as few disruptions as possible. Effective communication requires regular team meetings, including all parties involved in the ERP implementation, to ensure everyone agrees and is working toward a common goal.
Training and Education
Encouraging user adoption is one of the most challenging parts of ERP implementation and ensuring that your new solution is effective requires thorough training and education efforts. ERP training guarantees your ERP solution serves its purpose and lowers resistance to change across your organization. Educate employees and implement user adoption strategies, including employee workshops, open communication channels, and incentive programs to encourage user adoption.
Testing and Quality Assurance
Thorough testing is necessary to check and monitor your ERP system’s performance and effectiveness in achieving its primary goals. System testing and analysis play an important role in ensuring your system’s customizations meet its objectives, showing whether adjustments are necessary to make your ERP solution more impactful.
User acceptance testing (UAT) is another key component of the quality assurance process, as it reveals how well users are adopting the ERP solution and whether additional steps are needed to make adoption easier. Leaders should compile feedback from UAT results to identify an area for improvement. When any issues and bugs arise, it’s critical to take immediate action to resolve them and keep your ERP solution effective and beneficial to your employees.
Go-Live and Transition
Your ERP team plays a massive role when you fully deploy your new ERP solution during the go-live phase. Schedule your go-live on a day when it will cause minimal disruption to organizational operations.
During this phase, your ERP team will be a crucial support system to guarantee a successful transition. Transitioning to ongoing operations will be challenging without dedicated support to address implementation issues and streamline the go-live process.
Your team also provides essential post-implementation support, something important for employees following the go-live phase as they attempt to adopt the new system and understand new processes.
Monitoring and Continuous Improvement
Your ERP implementation team will help monitor the system’s effectiveness following deployment and provide insights about your key performance indicators (KPIs) to determine whether your ERP solution meets its goals. Your team also provides ongoing feedback and evaluation to determine errors in the system and address these issues before they become more severe. Stay on top of iterative enhancements to keep the system successful now and in the future.
ERP teams play a crucial role in a successful implementation process. They fulfill many roles and responsibilities to guarantee that your ERP solution is effective, and that implementation causes as few interruptions as possible. Beyond these responsibilities, your team is critical to planning and strategizing for the system and can offer ongoing education and testing for continuous success.
Understanding your implementation team’s role in your ERP solution is vital, and Intelligent Technologies can help you do just that. Learn more by downloading our eBook for all the top implementation team-building insights.