How to Build an ERP Project Team

Published Aug 24, 2020

Roles and Responsibilities of an ERP Project Team

ERP (enterprise resource planning) implementation is not always the most straightforward of tasks, but neither does it need to be a major headache. To make the project as simple as possible, and to accelerate the roll-out of your ERP solution, you just need to put the right team on the job.

So, how do you build this stellar ERP project team in your business? Let’s take a look at the roles you need and the responsibilities they should take on during your ERP implementation.

ERP Project team putting hands in ready to go

The Roles

Executive or Upper Management Leader (sometimes called the Project Sponsor)

ERP implementation is a big job and one that needs to be taken seriously. This is why you need a member of upper management or your executive team to come on board with the project. These individuals will ensure a top-down focus for the project and can quickly sign off on important decisions without the need for multiple board meetings.

Project Manager

Your upper management figure is not going to be handling everything, as they have their own distinct role to play. The nuts and bolts of management and the daily tasks associated with implementation will be handled by the project manager. This will be someone experienced in this kind of specialised management role and with specific knowledge in this field.

Specialist Team of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

This is where your ERP solution implementation heroes or SMEs are found. These are the people who will have to take a step away from their usual tasks within your business and spend time overseeing this all-important project. An element of compromise is required, as the benefits of ERP need to be weighed up against the disadvantage of removing personnel from their posts in order to put the new business solution in place. These roles will also need to be backfilled for the duration of the project.

Change Management Personnel

A new ERP system means big changes within your organisation, and these changes need to be managed in the right way. A change management individual or team will be required to oversee these changes, manage expectations, and help everyone adjust to a new way of working once the system is implemented.

The Responsibilities

The Responsibilities of the Executive or Upper Management Leader/Project Sponsor

  • Sign off on and approve key decisions without having to return to the board room for further advice or approval.
  • Provide a figurehead for the project, demonstrating to team members at all levels that upper management is fully behind the project.
  • Report back to other members of upper management or the executive board on the progress of the project, as well as learning more about the benefits of ERP implementation.

The Responsibilities of the Project Manager

  • Provide direct leadership and support to the implementation team.
  • Keep track of the cost and resource allocation during the project.
  • Report on the progress of the project to other departments.

The Responsibilities of the Specialist Team (SMEs)

  • Devote their work time to making sure the project goes as planned and executing tasks from the implementation expert and project manager.
  • Act as project evangelists, infecting their teammates with their enthusiasm for the project.
  • Work within their separate departments to ensure practical implementation success on an individual scale.
  • Take on a ‘Train the Trainer’ role and assume responsibility for training the end users in the business.

The Responsibilities of the Change Management Individual/Team

  • Prepare an impact statement to give other team members an idea of what they can expect during the project.
  • Work closely with members of staff to achieve a smooth transition.
  • Keep the project on track so that a return on investment can be achieved sooner rather than later.

Putting the ERP Team into Action: How to Maximise Effectiveness

  • Make sure communication is positive and effective every step of the way.
  • Make sure that this communication flows between the different levels of your implementation team, from upper management right through to training and education personnel.
  • Hold regular meetings that keep everyone updated on progress.
  • Plan out realistic metrics, objectives and time frames, but be prepared to appraise and recalibrate these as the project progresses.
  • Encourage input from all members of staff, including those not on the ERP. implementation team. This is crucial for the implementation team to do its job in the right way.
  • Allow for overlaps in roles between different members of the implementation team to prevent any levels of the team growing isolated.

The success of your ERP implementation project really comes down to the people in your implementation team. Choose this team wisely, with your people on the job, and take meaningful strides towards a highly effective business solution.

Don’t Forget the Role of the ERP Implementation Expert!

You’ll need an expert hand guiding you and your team during planning, implementation and beyond. This is where the implementation expert or implementation partner plays a major role. This is an external provider with the knowledge and track record required to guide you and your team towards the right results for your ERP project.

The implementation expert/partner:

  • Provides the expert knowledge required to make sure that the project runs smoothly
  • Takes the time to understand your business’s unique pain points ahead of implementing the solution in the right way
  • Provides guidance and insight to all other members of the ERP implementation team
  • Guides implementation of best practice processes within the ERP system.

Read our Top Tips for Selecting the Right ERP Software Partner for advice on how to select the right implementation expert to assist you with ensuring your ERP project is a success.

Want to find out more about what we can offer medium-sized Australian businesses looking for an ERP software solution? Book a 15-minute informal phone discussion with one of our ERP solution specialists to see if we are the right fit for you.