Jacquelyn Schade | September 21st, 2022
My job as a Project Manager is to see that your project is successfully completed efficiently and effectively. From my perspective, here are the critical actions that will increase the probability of success while lowering the stress level that is by its very nature, part of the implementation process.
1. Choose an internal Project Team that includes someone from every functional area of your business.
In order for an ERP implementation to succeed you need to have a Project Team that will guide the implementation and address any difficulties encountered.
Since every functional area of your enterprise will be touched by your ERP system, each one of these areas will need a team lead that understands the area and can drive process change in that area as needed. This person will follow up internally to ensure tasks are getting done on time while coordinating with the rest of the Project Team to ensure the implementation is running smoothly and is on target.
2. Be realistic about how much time your company can devote to the project each week.
Implementing ERP takes some time and is done in addition to your employees’ regular duties. Keeping this in mind and working out a realistic project schedule can prevent worker burnout and increase buy in for the project. Assigning an already overloaded employee to the project team will slow the project significantly. Consider how to free up their time so they can devote the needed hours to the project. Adding temporary staff or assigning duties to other employees have been successful actions in past projects.
3. Choose one person to handle scheduling sessions.
If you allow different people to schedule their own sessions you may have internal conflicts, opposing demands for employee and consultant time that can’t be met, etc. Having a lead who can see all your internal calendars will help your implementation partner schedule sessions that work for your team.
4. Attend weekly status calls to understand the current issues and where a project may be getting stuck.
While the time demands on the executives who are part of the Project Team is great, it is nonetheless critical that each attends the weekly status calls. Like any problem, an implementation difficulty won’t magically resolve if it is just left alone. The issues must be addressed, and quickly.
The weekly status calls not only handle current issues but can also detect and prevent future issues from occurring. Coordination and planning are key parts of a successful implementation and the weekly status calls are a key activity where this is accomplished.
5. If you’re part of the project team attend as many project training sessions as possible.
As part of the Project Team, you should understand not only your portion of the software, but also how your piece fits into the overall software/business structure. One of the key advantages of ERP software is that it connects all the different portions of the enterprise together. A full understanding of how your system benefits different areas and how those areas function together will ensure not only success today, but success well into the future. This understanding can be gained by attending as may project training sessions as your schedule will allow.
Part of LogicData’s model is to record these training sessions and give you access to them to support essential training for your project.
6. Ask lots of questions.
Your implementation partner is there to ensure the success of your project. They are experts on whatever software you are implementing so use them. You are the expert in how your business runs and what makes you successful. Ask your implementation consultant questions! They are there to help you, so feel free to pick their brains whenever possible.
“Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.” Don Miguel Ruiz – Bestselling Author
For more information on evaluating and implementing ERP, see our full blog page.