Aligning the ERP Project Team—The ERP Vendor, Implementation Partner and You

Aligning the ERP Project Team—The ERP Vendor, Implementation Partner and You

Table of Contents

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) projects are a significant undertaking for any organization, requiring harmonious collaboration between various stakeholders, such as the ERP vendor, your implementation partner and your internal project team. However, getting these different teams to work together and in harmony can be a challenge.

This blog article will look at:

  • The different team members of a project team
  • The benefits of having an aligned ERP project implementation team
  • Strategies for aligning the ERP project team
7 deadly sins of erp implementation

The 7 Deadly Sins of ERP Implementation

Some mistakes are the result of process-oriented or people-centric choices—and are easily avoided. These are The Seven Deadly Sins of ERP Implementation.


The ERP Project Team

The ERP project team is typically made up of: 

  • The ERP Vendor
  • An Implementation Partner
  • Your Internal Team

1. The ERP Vendor

The organization that is responsible for developing and maintaining the ERP software your organization has chosen to implement is the ERP software vendor. The main role of the vendor is providing the software, updates, technical support and end user training resources. 

Other key responsibilities of the vendor include: 

  • Developing and improving the ERP software, ensuring that it’s up-to-date with the latest technologies and business practices

  • Providing technical support that addresses any issues and bugs that may arise during the ERP implementation process and the ERP software’s lifecycle

  • Offering training resources—such as documentation, online courses and workshops—thereby helping your team understand, adopt and use the ERP software

2. An Implementation Partner

When you have chosen an ERP solution, an ERP implementation partner helps implement the software. The implementation partner is the bridge between your ERP vendor and your organization’s specific needs. 

The following are the key roles of an ERP implementation partner in your ERP project:

  • Configuring the ERP software—with the help of your internal team—to fit your organization’s unique requirements and processes during the implementation project
  • Migrating your data from the existing and legacy systems to the new ERP system 
  • Providing hands-on training to your internal team 
  • Providing on-going support to address any issues that may arise after the implementation project

3. Your Internal Team

Your internal team is made up of people from different departments in your company, who will be using the new ERP system on a daily basis. The following are some of the key members that form the internal team:

3.1 The Project Manager (PM)

The role of the project manager is like that of a leader steering the implementation, making sure that all the activities proceed as planned. The project manager is responsible for the project plan, ensuring the project is completed on time and within budget, while meeting the corporate strategy and your organization’s needs. The project manager serves as the primary point of contact between the ERP vendor, implementation partner and your internal team.

The following are the key roles and responsibilities of the project manager: 

  • Developing a comprehensive project plan that highlights timelines, milestones and resource allocation for the project

  • Facilitating open communication between all the project team members, ensuring that everyone is informed and aligned throughout the project

  • Identifying any potential risks that may impact the implementation process and mitigating them so that the project proceeds without issues

3.2 The Functional Team

The functional team members are people within the various departments—such finance, human resources and operations—within your company. They are employees who can perfectly blend in with the different departments and deeply understand the problems affecting their departments and also have the ability to tell how the ERP system can best address those problems.

The key roles and responsibilities of the functional team members include:

  • Documenting different departments’ requirements to ensure that the new ERP solution is configured to meet those needs

  • Testing the ERP system and making sure that it functions as expected to meet all of your organization’s pain points

  • Managing change within their departments and helping their colleagues adapt to the new ERP system

3.3 Senior Management

Senior management provides strategic direction and support, ensuring that the ERP system supports your key business objectives and goals for business transformation. 

The key roles and responsibilities of senior management include: 

  • Allocating the necessary resources—such as budget and personnel—ensuring the project succeeds

  • Making strategic decisions for the ERP implementation project, such as selecting the ERP vendor and implementation partner

  • Engaging key stakeholders—such as the board of directors and investors—by communicating project progress and benefits of the new system

aligning the erp project team

The Benefits of Having an Aligned ERP Project Implementation Team 

A well-aligned ERP implementation team is a crucial aspect that can make the difference between a failed ERP implementation and a successful ERP implementation. This team forms a high-performing unit that is capable of dealing with any issues that might arise during the ERP implementation process. 

1. Shared Vision and Goals

Your ERP implementation team can only share a common vision and goals if the members are aligned and speak only one language—project success. In this instance, every team member works towards achieving the same business goals and objectives, reducing cases of miscommunication and conflicting priorities. Project teams with shared vision and goals result in increased motivation, productivity and commitment to the project, while ensuring goals are defined and adhered to according to the project scope.

2. Effective Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication and collaboration among project team members from different departments is key to a successful ERP implementation. Establishing clear communication lines is easier when your ERP project technical team is aligned than when it’s not, promoting collaboration across different teams. This ensures the needs of department teams are heard and have the opportunity to contribute to the success of the ERP implementation.

3. Streamlined Business Processes

A successful implementation of ERP systems results in streamlined and optimized business processes across your organization. However, your organization cannot achieve this when it does not understand the current business processes and when there is no willingness to adapt and accept the change when necessary. Aligning your ERP project team ensures that every member has a shared understanding of your current processes and a vision for how those processes should be optimized and integrated within the new ERP system.

4. Faster Adoption and User Acceptance

User adoption and acceptance are two factors that are critical for the success of implementing ERP software. When the right team members are aligned for your ERP project, they can help anticipate and address potential user resistance, concerns and software training needs. This alignment enables the team to develop a comprehensive change management strategy—such as effective communication, training and support mechanisms—facilitating a smoother transition and faster adoption of the new ERP software.

5. Risk Mitigation and Timely Delivery

Some risks that your ERP project may face include budget overruns, schedule delays and scope creep. However, aligning your ERP implementation team enables you to identify, assess and mitigate potential risks throughout the implementation process before they can negatively impact the process. Furthermore, an aligned team manages resources effectively, prioritizes tasks and makes informed decisions, increasing the likelihood of delivering the project on time and within budget.

Tips for Aligning the ERP Project Team

A well-aligned team functions as one and works towards achieving your business goals and objectives. The following are some key strategies to help your company align the ERP project team for a successful ERP project implementation. 

1. Define Clear Goals and Objectives

Your ERP implementation must be in sync with your business strategy, and you can achieve this by establishing a shared vision for the project.  

  • What are your goals for the ERP implementation? 
  • Are you looking to streamline processes?
  • Are you looking to improve data accuracy? 
  • Are you looking to enhance customer service?

Defining your objectives ensures that everyone—vendor, implementation partner and your internal team—is working towards the same end result. 

Goals and objectives alone are not enough. You need to be able to measure and know how well the project is doing in terms of meeting your set goals. KPIs help you check whether the project is on track or not. Some examples of implementation KPIs are:

  • Staying within budget
  • Meeting timeline milestones
  • Achieving a certain level of user adoption
  • Realizing specific business benefits

2. Foster Open Communication

Communication is an essential aspect in an ERP implementation, ensuring that all the technical team members are on the same page and working in harmony together. Holding regular meetings can help your technical team:

  • Exchange information that is crucial to the project
  • Provide progress updates 
  • Address any concerns and roadblocks

Open communication allows team members to feel comfortable to ask questions, raise issues that impact your project and also provide feedback, ensuring that everything related to your project runs smoothly. Daily stand-up meetings, weekly status updates and dedicated project communication channels in collaboration tools—such as Slack, Asana, Teamwork or Microsoft Teams—help enhance communication. 

Embrace technology tools that facilitate communication and document sharing across teams. These tools can help keep everyone on the same page, ensuring that information is easily accessible when needed.

3. Assemble the Right Team

Your chosen team also plays a crucial role in determining the success or failure of your ERP implementation. Team members should have both technical skills and business process knowledge, with expertise in the specific modules and functional areas of the ERP system. Furthermore, they should understand your business-specific needs and processes.

All departments within your organization—especially those that are directly impacted with the new system—must be represented in the project team. Such a representation ensures that there is a well-rounded perspective regarding the project. Furthermore, they help with prioritizing objectives.  

Your executive team members must also possess soft skills—such as strong teamwork abilities and communication—that helps glue the entire team together. 

4. Leverage Expertise

As mentioned earlier, an ERP project team is made up of an ERP vendor, implementation partner and your internal team. These different groups possess different skills and expertise that contribute towards ensuring the success of your project. 

The ERP vendor deeply understands their software’s capabilities and the best practices for implementing and configuring it. This positions them well to offer guidance on how to use the system to meet your specific business needs and avoid common pitfalls.

An ERP implementation partner should offer you  best practices to optimize business processes to align with the new system.

Your internal team members have a deep understanding of your organization’s culture, processes and pain points, thereby bringing unique experience to the project. Furthermore, they can provide valuable input on how the ERP system can be configured and customized to meet your business-specific needs.

Leverage the strengths of each team member to create a balanced and effective project team. Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among the different groups, and develop opportunities for cross-functional learning and problem-solving.

5. Manage Change Effectively

A new ERP system brings about a significant change to your organization operations which necessitates the need for change management. Many ERP projects–about 20% of the implementations—end up being failures because employees resist accepting the new system. Therefore, it’s only natural that your employees might feel a little uncomfortable accepting the changes brought about by the new ERP system. This makes it difficult to have a successful implementation. 

Developing a comprehensive change management plan is crucial to mitigate any resistance to change that may occur. The plan should provide strategies to address change management, such as:

  • Communicating the benefits of the new system 
  • Providing training and support for users
  • Addressing any concerns or questions that arise during the implementation process

To manage change management effectively, open communication is crucial. Your employees must be informed about the project status, timeline and any changes that might happen to their roles and responsibilities. Also, provide an opportunity for feedback and input and be transparent about how that feedback is being incorporated into the project.

Your employees must feel comfortable and confident in using the new system, and providing comprehensive training and support resources can help you achieve this. Also, using a phased rollout approach—introducing different modules gradually—helps ease the transition and minimize disruption to daily operations.


Many key factors contribute to a successful ERP implementation. You must ensure that your ERP project team is aligned. Define the roles and responsibilities of each team member, gain executive support and buy-in, manage change effectively and utilize the expertise of an implementation partnerand ensure that the ERP implementation supports your goals and objectives. A successful ERP implementation drives digital transformation, aligns business processes and facilitates data-driven decision-making within your company. 

Ultra Consultants has a wealth of experience and industry-specific knowledge that can help turn the tide for your ERP implementation project. Our team of consultants is here to guide your organization through ERP selection, implementation and ongoing support. Our experienced team manages your project, keeping your project on-time and on-budget, with your future state goals in mind. We make sure your new system delivers on your desired benefits, such as improving operational efficiency, enhancing data-based decision making and reducing your operational costs. Make us part of your perfectly-aligned ERP Project Team—the ERP vendor, your implementation partner and you, led by Ultra’s consultants guiding your project every step of the way.

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