Role of users in an ERP implementation
What is the role of users in an ERP implementation?
Surprising as it may sound, the key challenge to an ERP project sticking to time and budget is not the software itself, but the implementation process it requires.
For this reason, you’ll want to put together a strong implementation team before embarking on lengthy, expensive projects.
With an ERP implementation, the stakes are high. So what can be done to minimise the risks and ensure challenges are met with flying colours?
We take you through how to build the right team and the role of users in an ERP implementation.
Why do ERP implementation projects fail
Once the software has been chosen and the investment has been made, it is not uncommon for the team delivering it to be something of an afterthought.
In some cases, key personnel will be busy with other tasks or the wrong people are assigned to the wrong roles.
Here are just some of the reasons things can go wrong:
Team members don’t have the time for the ERP implementation
Since an ERP project usually represents a large time commitment from personnel across a business, assigning key people to such a time consuming role at the expense of other tasks can be unpalatable.
This is even trickier when one considers that many ERP projects can take months to complete and require commitment from across multiple departments.
In order to ensure success of the project then, you’ll have to put together a comprehensive human resources capacity plan to make sure staff are not spread too thinly.
The wrong people are assigned to the core team
It’s not uncommon for these pressures to result in the wrong people being assigned to integral roles within the implementation.
Many ERP projects fail because management fails to commit their best people to the implementation.
It’s no surprise that this can lead to the wrong people being assigned instead, as individuals with less responsibility tend to have less of the experience required to deliver success.
The right users in an ERP implementation – but without the skills
In some cases, the right personalities will be assembled to make the project a success but the skillset itself is lacking within the organisation.
This is often the case with companies that lack the IT resources to cope with the demands of the project.
Typically this help will need to be outsourced by a committed and experienced consultant team.
What does a good ERP team require
In addition to having the required experience and the proper skill set, your ERP team should be agile and adaptable to change.
It should be obvious that you should create an implementation team with competency in mind, as opposed to status.
With that in mind, what skills are essential to the smooth running of any project?
Here are some:
The Executive Sponsor
This individual makes sure the project is carried out in line with company strategy and offers direction to the wider team. They will be needed to resist pressure from senior executives and must be able to defence and communicate decisions to the top of the business.
A Project Manager keeps the project on track and is a key player in the success of any project. They must take on day-to-day tasks and have the necessary understanding needed to make quick decisions and delegate when necessary.
ERP Champion and users in an ERP implementation
Nominating an ERP champion is one way to ensure the end product works as it’s supposed to. They champion the software to other colleagues and ensure new processes and software features are adopted as planned.
Depending on the size and scale of your business, there will often be technical experts on hand to help the team. These technical experts are responsible for explaining the technicalities to less experienced end-users.
Unsurprisingly, finding the right mix of software expertise and industry experience is a big ask. Let along finding the right personalities and at the right cost.
We recommend your ERP partner should have insight into similar industries to your own and to listen to different opinions before acting with conviction.
Conclusion: Role of users in an ERP implementation
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