Who Should be on Your ERP Implementation Team?

By: Alyssa Lamberti

 

If you’re considering an ERP implementation for your growing business, you probably have a whole list of questions about your ERP solution, implementation cost, implementation team, your business processes, and more. Well, don’t fret, because we’re going to prepare you to answer those questions that you may not be prepared to answer.

From, “how long does an implementation take” and “how much does it cost”, to the question of the day “who should be on my ERP implementation team”? 

While you’re trying to obtain budget approval for your upcoming implementation, you’re undoubtedly faced with a litany of questions from your executive team about time and resources. To help you out with some of the other questions you’re trying to anticipate, we put together a list of the 9 most common ERP requests from executives to help prepare you. 

When it comes to the question of: “Who needs to be on the ERP implementation team, and how much time will they need to dedicate to the project?” - we’re going to help you understand what it takes to build a winning team so you can provide your executives with a detailed and persuasive response. 

Who Should be on Your ERP Implementation Team?

The size of your implementation team will vary based on the size of your organization and the scope of your project. If your implementation requires more customization, you’ll likely need a larger team of specialized experts to build script. 

Pro-Tip: A great ERP partner will supply all the resources and specialists, so you don’t need to worry about that.

Apart from ERP experts, at a minimum, you need a representative from each of your organization’s departments to help the implementation team understand and adapt your new ERP to your current business processes. Look for people who understand multiple parts of the business, not just what happens in their own department.

If you’re working with an implementation partner, they’ll likely recommend that you secure a certain level of commitment from internal groups in order to make the process go smoothly - so make sure you choose the right candidates. 

Now let’s move on to who you need to make your A-Team, or, most appropriately, your ERP-Team. 

1. ERP Partner 

Finding the right implementation partner for your business is crucial to your project’s success.  There are many competitors out there and not all of them will align with your vision for the future of your company’s infrastructure. Choosing the wrong implementation partner is one of the main reasons why implementations fail.

That’s why you need an ERP implementation partner that knows about your company’s needs and the best way to integrate your new ERP to meet those needs. 

To help you make sure your implementation partner fits the criteria, we put together a guide on how to find the right implementation partner for your business.

2. Executives 

Every successful ERP project needs an engaged and committed executive team to readily make big decisions and answer important questions. Executives must be ready and willing to kick-off the project and remain active participants throughout. 

The executive or executives, depending on the size of the company. will be heavily involved in the selection and implementation process, giving guidance when difficult decisions arise. Their unwavering commitment to the implementation is essential for its rapid competition. 

3. IT Team

Your IT team will be essential, not only in the implementation process but also in the ongoing process of maintaining your ERP system. An ERP project should be a collaborative approach. That’s why a good implementation partner will work with your internal teams and departments to share the workload and involvement. 

Your IT team needs to be heavily involved to understand and learn the skills or knowledge necessary to handle this responsibility. Additional training opportunities can also bring your IT team up to speed.

4. Accounting & Finance Team Members

Get everyone involved! As we mentioned above, having a representative from each of your organization’s departments helps the implementation team understand and adapt your new ERP to your current business processes. 

Your ERP system is going to be used by your company’s finance department for planning and budgeting, payroll, and more. So it’s a great asset to have the people actually using the software involved in the process of installing it.

5. HR Team 

You might not know it, but the human resources team can be key contributors to your ERP project. 

Your HR team has them in - they will often know about the roadblocks employees encounter when dealing with company-wide changes. This is helpful for identifying pain points as well as processes that are redundant or inefficient. Your HR department also can be of great assistance with organizational change management.

6. Change Agents or Project Managers 

Change agents are very valuable assets, especially for the post-implementation phase. They are team members across the organization who support your ERP implementation strategies and goals and are responsible for communicating those goals and status updates to employees. 

Think of them as your support system - they create excitement and help diffuse rumors by being accessible and willing to answer questions.

The most important change agent is the Project Manager. Your Project Manager should be capable of leading the project team and demonstrating accountability and transparency.

7. ERP Training Specialists 

Other change agents are the team members who are generally responsible for training. They often take on the role of the “super user,” – they know how to support and use the new system flawlessly.

Your specialists might host workshops or provide personalized instruction and assistance to ensure employees are ready and able to operate the new ERP solution. 

Just to be clear, these users don’t replace formal training, they just make it comfortable for employees to ask questions.

Pro-Tip: If you’re working with a skilled ERP implementation partner, your partner will be able to provide your specialists, and any other users, with the proper and in-depth ERP training they need.

How to Build The Perfect Implementation Team 

Every implementation project needs it’s own Justin League. And now that you know which superheroes you need, you can start building it.

It is important to start building your ERP implementation team to avoid lacking resources, representation, and accountability. 

Building the perfect team requires: 
1. Executive Sponsorship

Executives can have a strong influence on the project, so it’s important that your executives are on board with the goals of the project. 

The project manager is responsible for ensuring that executives are well-aware of project scope, project budget, and project resource requirements. They are also responsible for ensuring that all employees are aligned in terms of overall goals and project priority – so that executives can make informed decisions when helping project managers choose team members.

2. Strong Communication 

Communication is essential throughout the whole project - from beginning to end.

Employees should be vocal to ensure the business requirements from their department are represented. 

They should also able to communicate to ensure that all tasks are being completed and split equally and that the project is running smoothly.

3. Prioritization 

Project managers and executives need to set the tone - to ensure that the ERP implementation is the team’s top priority. 

You may staff your project teams with external resources to ensure project team members can more fully focus on the ERP project. When it comes to using your own resources, take the time to talk to your employees to address concerns on an individual basis before assigning responsibilities. 

If some of your employees are already busy with projects, respect the preexisting situation and try to limit their involvement in the ERP project until the time is right.

4. Clearly Identified Roles & Responsibilities

Members in your ERP implementation team should be assigned responsibilities based on their strengths, experience level, and bandwidth. 

Define roles and responsibilities at the beginning of the project to ensure accountability and representation from key business functions. Responsibilities can include anything from process definition to end-user training. It’s equally important to define what members are not responsible for - to ensure no one is overstepping or interfering with someone else’s tasks. 

As we mentioned above, having the right implementation partner is key. Your implementation partner will provide you with the resources you need - for business analysis, implementation, data migration, customization, training, and support. 

GURUS Is Your Implementation Team

GURUS Solutions has been a 5-star NetSuite partner for 8 years running. We are NetSuite experts, offering our clients the best Cloud management software paired with a leading approach to solidifying back-office infrastructures.

We’ll help you leverage knowledge from over a decade of Gurus experience with a diverse portfolio of NetSuite projects, within many different industries.

Our team boasts:
  • A specialized process for optimizing your daily operations with reduced risk.
  • 14+ years of experience working with NetSuite and the Cloud.
  • 5-Star NetSuite Partner for 8 years in a row.
  • A unique & collaborative approach to any project.
  • Experience with a vast number of industries.
  • Over 2100 successful projects completed.
  • Resources across all of North America. 
Pro-tip: Check out our NetSuite Buyer’s Guide webinar to learn everything you need to know about switching to and using NetSuite ERP. 
 
 

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About Alyssa Lamberti

Alyssa Lamberti is a resident Blogger, Writer, and Marketing Content Specialist for GURUS Solutions. She comes from a background in English Literature, having graduated with a degree in English Literature from Concordia University, and has worked in Marketing and copywriting for companies in the tech and media industry.

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