At Ultra, we have been involved in many ERP Selection and ERP Implementation projects. Our experiences tell us, that while selecting a new ERP system can be a major effort for an organization, implementing that new ERP software system is often even a more challenging initiative. An ERP implementation can last between 6 to 18 months, so positioning this project for success is critical.
So, how does an organization increase the probability of a successful and timely implementation? While there are many answers to that question, assigning the right employee to be the ERP Project Manager may be at the top of the list.
What characteristics should an ERP Project Manager possess? What should his/her strengths be? You might want to look at the profile of a successful athlete, such as an NFL quarterback, perhaps a head coach or even that of a school Principal.
A Successful ERP Project Manager Must Have the Same Traits as Any Great Leader
- Good Listener
- Effective Communicator
- Hard Working
- Desire to Win
A new ERP system should integrate most every department in the company, such as Customer Service, Accounting, Information Technology, Quality Control, Sales, Payroll, Manufacturing, Human Resources and others. Therefore, the Project Manager must also have the knowledge and experience on how all these functional departments affect each other, the information flow and the personalities involved.
The Project Manager has to have the ability to communicate the following to fellow employees, department heads, and top management:
- The goals of the ERP implementation
- Steps necessary to execute the software implementation
- Tasks needed to keep the project on-time and on-budget
- Meetings requirements
- Importance of departmental roles and responsibilities
In conclusion, the ERP Project Manager is a key factor in the success of any ERP implementation. Selecting the right ERP Project Manager is one of the first steps in delivering a success ERP implementation project.