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Six Steps to Managing ERP Projects

ERP project managers (ERP PMs) are in high demand due to the increasing number of ERP projects in the UK and the need for skilled individuals to manage these projects.

Managing an ERP project can be a challenging task. It needs careful planning, organisation, and oversight to ensure the successful completion of the project on time and within budget. Here are six tips to follow if you’re implementing an EPR project.

1. Define the scope and objectives

Well-defined scope and objectives will help you avoid scope creep, manage expectations, and measure progress. Create a detailed project plan covering scope, design, teams, and communication strategies, as this sets the foundation for a successful ERP journey.
Identify

  • Stakeholders
  • The business problems
  • Goals
  • Requirements the ERP solution will address
  • Benefits
  • Risks

Establish

  • The project scope
  • Timeline
  • Budget
  • Deliverables

The main point of setting goals and objectives is to drive the ERP implementation process forward. A good project manager establishes goals and objectives that are achievable and aligned with the business strategy. Realistic deadlines must be attached to those objectives and communicated to the team.

2. Research suitable ERP solutions

Once you have an understanding of your project, research ERP vendors and solutions. Evaluate each vendor’s:

  • Capabilities
  • Customer service record
  • Pricing options
  • Technology platform
  • Experience in implementing similar projects for other companies

Customise the ERP system to align with your organisation’s needs and ensure seamless integration with any existing systems.

3. Select the right methodology

Once you have selected your ERP solutions, there are different approaches to ERP implementation, including:

Each methodology has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on the project size, complexity, and flexibility. Evaluate the pros and cons of each and select the one that best suits your needs, resources, and culture.

4. Build a diverse and skilled ERP team

This is where the ERP team will make contributions. Experts from NU Concept Solutions are selected on their experience and skills.

Successful ERP projects need skilled and diverse teams that can work together. Team members should have

  • Relevant skills
  • Experience
  • Knowledge of the ERP system
  • Understanding of the business processes
  • Experience in the industry

Ensure that your team is balanced and includes different roles, functions, and perspectives, such as:

  • Project managers
  • Business analysts
  • Implementation and technical experts
  • End-users
  • Representatives from different departments

Engage with all relevant parties about the project impacts, including end-users, management, and IT teams.

5. Manage change and risk

Managing change and risk is essential for any ERP project. It has a significant impact on the project's outcome and the company’s performance. Project managers need to be the first to identify issues and find solutions. Anticipate and mitigate the potential changes and risks that may arise during the project, such as:

  • Technical issues
  • User resistance
  • Data quality
  • Security
  • Compliance
  • ERP Partner performance

Schedule high-risk tasks early in your project and add a time buffer to the timeline. Develop and implement a change management and risk management plan that defines the roles, responsibilities, processes, and tools for managing change and risk throughout the project. Finally, ensure that your ERP implementation partner provides regular status updates and project status reports.

6. Communicate

Communication is crucial for managing ERP projects and teams. Communication can influence the project's success and user adoption. To ensure everyone is on the same page and informed throughout the process, communicate the project plan, timeline, and goals to all stakeholders.

Communicate often with all stakeholders, including your:

  • Project sponsors
  • Executives
  • Managers
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Implementation Partners

Inform them about the project vision, goals, benefits, status, issues, and actions, and get their feedback and input. Involve stakeholders in relevant activities, including planning, testing, training, and support. Recognise their contributions and achievements.

To help you assess and establish clear communication channels, ask:

  • Who needs to be involved?
  • Who is overseeing each stage?
  • How will each party communicate with one another?
  • What are the protocols for managing change requests?
  • What processes are needed for reporting progress and dealing with project delays?

Some companies create a dedicated team of ERP project managers who oversee each part of the project and keep in regular contact with the ERP partner and stakeholders.

Paving future ERP journeys

Effectively managing ERP projects is vital for transformation projects. By following these six steps, ERP project managers can navigate challenges and ensure success. These steps not only guide but also ensure a fulfilling experience in managing ERP projects. Remember, mastering the art of managing ERP projects is not only about meeting milestones; it's also about enjoying the journey.

If you’re looking for a role in ERP project management or are recruiting to build an ERP team, contact NU Concept Solutions today. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on 0330 058 3400.