6 Critical Roles Needed for a Successful ERP Implementation

In this blog post, we explain the roles needed for a successful ERP implementation. 

Julia Yeh

Julia Yeh

Introduction

The composition of your internal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation team is a critical component to ensuring the long-term success of the implementation project. It is important that your approach to selecting an implementation team is aligned with your ERP system selection, general ERP planning, and accounts for several major internal and external factors.  

6 Core Roles Needed for a Successful ERP Implementation

The two biggest factors to consider throughout your ERP implementation team selection are the size and structure of your company, as well as the complexities of the project scope. The needs of the implementation project will dictate the roles and responsibilities necessary to ensure all components of the project are addressed. Meanwhile, the size and structure of your company will determine how these roles are identified and assigned. With these factors, designing an effective and efficient team must be strategic.  

To ensure the success of your ERP implementation, your team must be holistic and thus comprised of individuals from across the entire organization. It must also include any necessary external support. This includes senior executives, project managers, domain experts, end-users, and the implementation partner or vendor.

Outlined below are 6 core roles necessary to your ERP implementation team.

1. Executive Sponsor

It is important to have an executive sponsor to oversee the high-level ERP responsibilities of the implementation project. They can either be an individual executive for a small to mid-sized company or a group of senior individuals that make up an executive suite in the case of an enterprise business. The executive sponsor plays a significant role in determining the right ERP software based on business needs, budget, and the readiness to implement.  

 

This can be an enormous task for a company to undertake, which is why it is important to also consider acquiring an implementation partner to assist with selecting and integrating the right ERP software for your enterprise. Outlined below are important responsibilities of the executive sponsor, and whilst the executive sponsor oversees the project, the implementation partner can assist with the various tasks necessary to align the project with the company needs.

The responsibilities of the executing sponsor can include, but is not limited to: 

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The advocacy of the ERP implementation project by the executive sponsor also ensures company-wide engagement and participation, which is crucial to the successful adoption of the system during and after the go-live phase. Additionally, the executive owner is involved on a senior level in risk mitigatioon, and change management. They address an systematic issues during the implementation project through periodic review and spearhead the change management from the top-down.

2. Implementation Partner

The implementation partner is an external consultant company or vendor position and are the technical provider of the ERP software solution. The implementation partner is often a team of individuals that could include a project manager, business analyst, technical consultant and more, depending on the project scope. They are responsible for advising on ERP software selection, making customizations, and providing the technical support and training during implementation and post go-live.
Selecting an implementation partner is important, as they not only bring critical technical and functional expertise on the ERP software, but they also bring their business insight along with them. They can clearly identify how the ERP software can be implemented to provide solutions specific to your enterprise, and assist with the pain points before, during, and after the project.
Selecting an implementation partner is important, as they not only bring critical technical and functional expertise on the ERP software, but they also bring their business insight along with them. They can clearly identify how the ERP software can be implemented to provide solutions specific to your enterprise, and assist with the pain points before, during, and after the project.

3. Project Manager

within the organization. This involves working with the executive sponsor to facilitate the vision for the project. Important responsibilities for the role include, but are not limited to:  
The project manager oversees the ERP implementation process to make sure that is it on schedule and meeting the goals of the organization. Depending on the project scope there can be a project management team. This can include the internal project manager, the implementation partner project manager, and a site manager.  

4. Change Management Team

The role of the internal change management team, or individual change agent is responsible for overseeing the ERP system changes, managing expectations, and assisting with the knowledge transfer between the implementation partner and the rest of the company. They are responsible for internally driving the change management strategy to meet the implementation project requirements. Key responsibilities of the change management or change agent include:

The change management team is a critical intermediary in the ERP implementation process. Their position is vital to the integration of the new software as they work with the implementation partner to provide the support and training necessary throughout the whole project and set up the company for success in the adoption, and post go-live phases of the ERP implementation project.

5. Functional Team Members

Functional team members can be selected from the core functions of the company such as finance, manufacturing, sales, logistics. They are responsible for defining the needs of the department to the project manager, and ERP partner or vendor. They are also responsible for explaining the processes and future requirements to the implementation team, and to future end-users.  

Building a cross-functional team ensures cohesion in the ERP implementation process. A cross-functional team means that individuals across the company understand the system in its entirety and how it interrelates. By establishing a functional team within the overall ERP implementation team, the business needs of each department will be factored into the ERP solution. Ultimately these departments will contain the employees who use the ERP software daily, so their input and needs form the basis of the ERP software solution.   

6. Super Users

Super Users are responsible for learning the new ERP software and are considered the cross-functional internal expert once the implementation is completed. The super-user is critical to the post-implementation stage of the project however by identifying and including the super-user throughout the implementation process they can gain the requisite knowledge and insight into the ERP solution necessary for the knowledge transfer to the rest of the organization.

With smaller companies, or less complex ERP solutions, the super-user can also be the project manager. Whilst for larger companies, there may be multiple super-users that represent the different functional areas of the company. The super-user works closely with the change management team and the implementation partner or vendor to receive the necessary software training and provide support to the implementation process through their feedback.

The super-user has several key responsibilities: 

The super-user is important to the ERP implementation team structure because they provide the necessary user experience of software for the implementation project, as well as disseminating information regarding the software to the rest of the company. This impacts the user adoption of the solution within the company, which in turn, drives the overall success of the ERP implementation project.  

Conclusion

There are several factors when establishing your ERP implementation team that will be unique to your implementation project. The outlined positions in this article will give you a baseline for understanding the roles and responsibilities required for an ERP implementation. Additionally, this outline will convey how your team can be structured align with your company, and project needs.

Looking for ERP Implementation advice?

Contact our team of experts for a complimentary consultation and explore how Avantiico can help with your next ERP Implementation.

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