Assemble the right ERP project team

An enterprise resource planning system like Dynamics NAV can provide a tremendous benefit for a company. The business must invest significant time and resources to purchase and implement the program. To capitalize on this major investment, the company needs to ensure staff members are part of the roll-out. If the company only assigns IT team members on the ERP integration, crucial aspects can be left out. Similarly, if the company only places a business-minded staff member on ERP duty, then there will most likely be significant technical expertise missing.

Appoint an ERP champion
According to CIO.com, many companies put their B team on the program, despite the fact that the implementation can be so complex, costly and time-consuming. Not assigning the best people for the job means the business will not receive the full return on investment. While the A team may be otherwise involved in its regular duties, by not placing the top employees on the project, business owners can jeopardize the entire implementation process. Having a mixture of business- and IT-sided staff members on the project team may seem fairly commonsensical, but many business owners fail to consider how the ERP system impacts each department.

The company needs to assign an ERP product champion. While the vendor may want to appoint a project manager, someone from the company's staff who understands the business from the inside out should lead the project team. This individual should not only be in charge of the program's implementation, he or she should also identify the various stakeholders and determine how the system impacts the departments' productivity. This champion should be responsible for ensuring end-users understand how to make the most efficient usage of the program, in addition to having a strategy for data conversion and coordinating the staff member training.

Identify stakeholders
Once the ERP champion has been assigned and surrounded with the company's top minds, the next step is for this champion to identify which stakeholders have the most to gain from the system's implementation.

Different stakeholders will have various interactions with the system that will drive their opinion of it. For instance, one department may benefit from the system more than other ones but remains quiet about it, while a different division may complain about the ERP implementation without the program actually affecting them too much. Since some of these experiences will be good and some will be bad, appointing an ERP champion guarantees that a particularly vocal department that only uses the ERP system for a fraction of their workload but is frustrated with it doesn't drown out another division that uses the program extensively but is quietly satisfied with it.

According to ERPFocus, there are three groups of employees who the ERP champion should pinpoint: users with the most to gain, those with the most risk and users with the most political power. The first group benefit the most from the system. The second group may not gain much, but will take on a majority of the blame for something going wrong. While the last group is the department that tends to funnel the most employees through to management and the champion needs them on his or her side.

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