Getting ERP right means professional project management

////Getting ERP right means professional project management

Successful ERP implementation as part of a fabrication shop takes more than just simple adoption. Having a plan for professional project management is going to be key for every organization looking to take this step forward. The organization will need to figure out who they want to put in charge of the project. This needs to be someone who will take the reigns of ERP and help spread it across the enterprise.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said the leader of the project team will be pivotal in forming the goals of an ERP solution. Every company is looking to achieve something different with this technology, but by looking at business processes, where efficiencies can be gained and what kind of expectations for return on investment should be in place, the individual organization can figure out its own path.

Project managers must figure out the timeline for when this solution will be functional over each phase of the project. How long it will take to implement software, convert data, train employees and go live should all be benchmarks of how well the ERP implementation is going. It will be important for project managers to know the intricacies of the software they are working with to be sure they can work out any kinks in the timeline before it is too late.

Management of the team
As far as who will be on the project team, PwC suggested managers select employees who can be trusted, have some experience with similar projects, are essential to the data that is being worked with and will be able to support the conversion process. Especially in the manufacturing industry, it is extremely important to be sure data is brought over to the new ERP program in a way that will allow business processes to continue flowing as they were before.

Managers will need to have people in place they know they can trust and who can be readily trained. ERP Focus said managers of implementation projects should look at role-based training initially to help teach workers across different aspects of the company what they need to be doing with the data in this software. This is a great way to ensure the project succeeds across the enterprise.

Don’t exceed the budget
Smart Business Online noted how important it is for managers to stay on top of ERP’s budget as well. Zinovy Radovilsky, Ph.D., interim chair and professor of management for the College of Business and Economics at California State University, said the complexity of ERP implementation can make keeping up difficult, but it is essential to get everything in line.

“While cost overruns can’t be eliminated, they can be managed with the right tools and tactics,” he said.

Leslie Stevens-Huffman wrote on the Smart Business Online website that these projects may exceed budget due to too much training, over-customization, consulting fees, testing and data warehouse fees, among other reasons. It will be the manager’s job to ensure the budget is kept in line with the manufacturer’s expectations.

Learn how to define your ERP strategy by downloading the white paper entitled “ERP in Manufacturing: Defining the ERP Strategy” from the DMS website today.