A successful implementation depends heavily on the team assembled to design and implement the new ERP system.
An ERP implementation is one of the most important projects a company can undertake. There are many variables associated with making the project a success and realizing the desired ROI.
One of the most critical factors is the ERP project team roles and responsibilities of those selected to participate in the project.
Some of the ERP project team roles and responsibilities below are often utilized in order to put together the winning team who will achieve implementation success that meets the expectations and objectives set forth by company management.
Representing the Executive level decision making body, the Executive Sponsors are the highest level in the organizational chain. Executive Sponsors receive periodic updates from the ERP Project Manager (PM) and the Project Champion.
At times, they may also receive updates from Core Team members. Tracking the progress of the project at a milestone level, the Executive Sponsors need to be informed of identified risks and accompanying action plans. Corporate level decisions or issues should be handled by these sponsors.
Examples of these issues include financial and budget reviews, personnel issues, change management efforts, and decisions related to business processes. One of the sponsors often serves as the Project Cheerleader. Providing support and inspiration to the team is integral to conveying a message of full support from management.
The role of Project Champion is identified as an element of the overall Project Approach because of the nature of the role and its significance to the project. The Champion will participate in the project from beginning to end.
At the end of the project lifecycle, the Champion will be the most knowledgeable person about the project and its processes within the company, other than perhaps the Project Manager.
The Champion’s most critical role is just what the name implies; they are the Champion for the project within the Company. They bring the project message to the “troops.”
There will be Champions at each site, but there also will be one overall Champion.
It must be understood by Management that the role the individual will play on the project will be a time-consuming one. Often this will be a full-time job. Some specific duties of the Champion are:
- Requirements Coordination – the Champion is often responsible for making sure all elements of the company are represented during the requirements process and specification.
- It will not be their job to define the requirements, but it will be their job to make sure the requirements are complete and all departments and locations have been accounted for.
- They will “own” the responsibility for clearing requirements at the corporate site and they will be responsible for coordinating with the Champions at other sites.
- The Champion brings to bear their experience with the company and understanding of the future vision and plans of the organization. They become a ‘checkpoint’ for decisions and are integral in assisting the Project Manager.
- Test Coordination – the Champion will work closely with the PM to create a TEST plan and system tests, and select the test team and assist in coordination of testing. This ties back into their requirements role, validating that the requirements are met.
This is a key role, as the success of the implementation depends on a good Project Manager.
Consequently, it is important that the customer appoints one of their best people to fulfill the role and ensure they have the time available to devote to the implementation.
This might require a temporary re-allocation of some of the person’s existing responsibilities. It is possible for the roles of Project Manager and Project Champion to be filled by one individual.
However, this is highly dependent on key factors like the size and scope of the project, time availability, and the skillset of the individual filling the roles.
Some examples of the responsibilities of a Project Manager include:
- Delivering the project on-time and within budget
- Ensuring adherence to project scope
- Maintaining the project plan
- Signing off on deliverables
- Reporting and escalating of issues
- Communicating the project status
- Ensuring risks are identified and treatment actions completed
The core team has tactical responsibility for the project. Members of the team deal with the project on a daily basis. Each team member represents a primary discipline within the company. They “own” the responsibility for their discipline throughout the project.
Additionally, each member is individually and equally responsible for the success of entire project.
Often one of the primary goals of the project is to centralize information. The core team consists of all disciplines that can be or should be found at each site.The core team will combine efforts with each site team to make up the full ERP Project Team at each site.
By bringing the focus of this same core team to each location, processes and information will become more centralized.
Combined with the Core Team, the site team makes up the remainder of the full Project Team at each site. Typically, a site team exists at each location, including corporate. Each site should also have one person who functions as the Site Champion to help coordinate scheduling and ensure all site requirements are met.
To learn more about ERP project team roles and responsibilities for an effective ERP implementation, read our whitepaper “Best Practices for an Effective ERP Implementation.”