Which roles do you need for your ERP project?
So you think you can dance? Just kidding, we’re sure you’re fully equipped to make your ERP project a resounding success. Still, a strong team is an absolute must. So who do you need in your ERP squad? We’ve listed some of the most important roles – with some sidenotes:
One person can take on multiple roles – but particularly for large ERP projects, that’s usually not the best idea.
Some of these roles might not apply to your organization, or have a slightly different interpretation of the job. That’s fine of course: dance to the beat of your own drum!
Maybe your ERP plans requires an extra role that’s not defined here: that’s cool too – no two ERP projects are the same.
Not sure how much time your ERP crew will need? With this handy-dandy Excel tool, you’ll get an estimate of the hours each person will need to dedicate to your ERP project.
The project manager leads the dance from a planning point of view. This person needs a clear view on the ERP project and enough buy-in from the company to keep everything – and everyone – in check. With a minimum of 3 days per week, they’ll need to dedicate quite a bit of time to your ERP plans. You can opt for an external PM, but beware: they often don’t have the deep knowledge of your organization and/or peer recognition required to lead with confidence.
The business architect and project manager roles are often combined. Where the PM keeps a tight grip on planning, the business architect knows the business requirements inside-out. Basically, they’re the in-house counterpart to your ERP partner’s solution architect. The larger your ERP project, the bigger the chance that the PM and business architect will need to be two separate people. Though they will have to work together to maintain a tight choreography, of course.
ERP projects also bring about major changes for your organization. To facilitate these changes and help your employees or colleagues fall back into step, a change manager can be very helpful. Contrary to most other roles in an ERP project, this is often an external expert, as change communication and management are a specific skill that most organizations don’t have on the payroll.
Need help with your ERP change management, but not sure where to start? Let our ERP change management e-book guide you!
The dance crew
Process owners are key figures within your organization: they are responsible for specific end-to-end business processes. For their specific process, they will know what is required and if any changes will need to be made along the way.
Finally, we have the key users: the people on the floor who will need to work with the new ERP system. They are the ones who will be testing things out in the field, help set everything up and report to the process owners what works and what doesn’t.
The IT crowd
Besides the above tasks – which are already extensive – you’ll also need some boots on the ground, either in-house or with your ERP partner, to cover the IT groundwork. The main jobs at hand:
- Data migration: analyze the existing data in the source systems, collect them and clean them up and migrate them to the new ERP system.
- Document design: designing the right lay-out for all your important documents, from invoices to order confirmations, packing slips and more. And after designing, uploading and implementing them in the new ERP system.
- Application management: both during the ERP implementation and after the go-live, you’ll need someone who manages your applications – troubleshooting, helping other key users and installing patches, for example. Often, this system administrator will also be responsible for security, creating new users and so on.
When should I assemble my ERP team?
You should invite people to dance. So ideally, your ERP dream team has been asked to join the efforts before it kicks off. At the very least, you should involve them at the start of the project, when you’re determining your business processes and analyzing your requirements.
This way, their thoughts and concerns are included in the ERP project and they were involved in the decisions made. In turn, that makes the change process easier: understanding why certain choices were made, goes a long way to accepting them.
How to free up work hours for your ERP project
ERP projects are intense – particularly because more often than not, they come on top of your day job. Freeing up enough space can be a challenge. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But fortunately, we do have some suggestions to keep the swing in everyone’s step:
- get some extra colleagues onto the ERP dancefloor: this is mainly for process owners and key users.
- find some temporary (interim) dance partners that can take over some more basic tasks, freeing up some breathing room for your ERP team
- opt for outsourcing where possible, preferably with your ERP partner – up to a certain point, they can often accelerate faster than the in-house team
- add one or two business analysts to the party to support your process owners and key users
- prioritize – based on your business goals and processes – and work in phases
of failed ERP projects are due to underestimating the workload
*Source:: slide Gartner, Panorama Consulting Group, Technology Evaluation Center
May we have this dance?
Cegeka and Microsoft Dynamics 365: there’s music in that! Get in touch and let’s choreograph your ERP track together.
Two to Tango: there’s no I in ERP
To successfully start and finish an ERP project, it takes Two to Tango. Join us and our customers as we zoom in on all things ERP – from the perspective of true partnership. Featured in this first season: the full choreography of setting up your ERP strategy.