Software deployment, especially where ERP is concerned, is not a project you should take lightly. With so many moving parts to keep in check, assembling a team who’ll make sure the project is a success is vital. But it’s also a challenge.
Building a team for your software deployments isn’t simply a case of hastily assembling people you think will work well. Instead, you have to know they’ll work well. And since they don’t build themselves, you’re going to have to put some real thought into it.
Over the course of this article, we’ll cover what you need to weigh up when it comes to assembling an ERP project team, including the duties of each team member, the team roles you’ll need to put in place, and the skills they need to ensure success across the board.
What do you need the team to do?
Before you start to think about who you want on your team, you should start with the broader implications. What is it that you want from your new software or system? This helps your team, and the software provider, know what everyone will be working towards over the course of the project.
Part of knowing what you want from your new software is creating clear goals and objectives. The more detail you can go into at this stage, the greater your chances of success will be. This will also help with creating a document detailing your current challenges and how you’ll resolve them, which helps to ensure buy-in from stakeholders. When everyone is confident from the outset, it allows the team to function in a more assured, well-poised manner.
Since software deployment is a time-intensive operation, it’s important that – whoever you opt for – your team members know how much is required of them. And don’t forget that they have other duties to do aside from the deployment software project, so make sure they have time carved out to carry out project-related tasks throughout the week.
Who do you need in the team?
We’ll touch on the qualities and skills your team should possess later, but you’ll need to fill its ranks with key roles each with their own duties. Not only will this mean tasks are completed on time, but it minimises the frustrating back and forth between you and your software vendor which so often slows down a project’s progress.
Your ERP project team might look different from others – it’s all a matter of project scope and scale, of course – but generally, it should feature the following roles:
Executive Sponsor: Responsible for decisive actions when it comes to budget, timescale and escalation, this is the project’s highest level, and a key point of contact for everyone who’s involved.
Project Manager: Appointed by your vendor this key point of contact, is responsible for delivering the project. As such, they watch over all project activities, and make sure that all customer responsibilities are carried out on time.
System Administrator: A collection of technically-minded personnel, system administrators are responsible for maintaining the system from the moment it goes live and into the future.
Workstream/Process Leads: One or more team members, responsible for refining the process and workflow of the project, they’ll also receive feedback from other team members to improve processes and properly train users on the ERP system.
Data Extraction and Manipulation: Talented technicians who’ll be able to extract data from your previous systems and transform it to meet the needs of the incoming system. This is a resource-intensive activity in the early stages of your project that decreases as the project progresses but this individual will be involved to project completion
User Acceptance Testers: A team of individuals, sourced from around the whole business, who’ll be responsible for testing the system to see that it meets its intended targets before it goes to the end users.
What skills do you need within the team?
As you can see, there’s a wide variety of roles that software deployment requires, and so there’ll be a similar breadth of specialist skills amongst your team. Broadly, however, you should aim to bring people on board who have a history of demonstrating the following…
Although a project that can progress smoothly with minimal issues is, of course, going to be ideal, a team that follows instructions unquestioningly is not. To identify the best solution, and the methods you’ll use to reach your goals, you’re going to need people who aren’t afraid to disagree.
With critical thinkers on your team, you’ll work with a team of people who are hardwired to say ‘no’. And it’s this quality that can be key to finding the best possible solution (or solutions) over the course of the project.
Prior project work
Those with a demonstrable history of working on previous projects will be invaluable (be that internally or externally sourced). Not only is this an indication of the quality of their work, but you can also see what kinds of clients they’ve worked with previously, along with what was required of them to pull off the project successfully.
The same goes for your potential partners too. Before you decide on a software partner, it’s well worth investigating potential vendors to see if they can provide you with case studies and other information that can help you to decide who to work with. Tried and trusted software is important, but tried and trusted services are equally so.
As we’ve touched on, the amount of knowledge at play means that collaboration is going to be essential. Assembling a team of people who you know have strong communication skills and are comfortable listening to others’ opinions will put you in a strong position. And when they know they’re amongst people who welcome ideas, it means effective suggestions are more likely to flourish.
Responsibility and accountability amongst the team are important for a number of different reasons. Not only does it mean they’re willing to accept and take ownership of any mistakes they might make over the course of the project, but it means they’re less likely to take the spotlight away from the rest of the team.
Through this, they better understand their own contributions, as well as the contributions of others, and how everyone’s work is interlinked on the way towards project success. This allows team members to prioritise, put contingencies in place and overcome any potential challenges.
When your team is passionate about what they’re doing, their engagement is more conducive to looking for optimal solutions. An engaged team is one which is more given to thinking outside of the box, especially when it comes to particularly difficult solutions. A team of unengaged people, on the other hand, is going to struggle to get off the ground from the outset.
Looking for a future-proof ERP solution optimally implemented by a team of experts? Intact iQ can help with that, providing you with a flexible, customisable approach to your business needs – when you need them. For more information, head here, or get in touch with us today.