The most important role for every ERP project
The most important team member you need in-house to run a successful ERP project is some form of Solution Architect. Vendors will often take care of most roles for the implementation itself. But someone on the inside needs to be mapping the solution to the organization’s needs.
The most obvious example of why this is necessary is right up front. The organization needs to know which vendor to go with in the first place. An organization shouldn’t let an outside sales department manage the ERP selection process. The Solution Architect should start with the organization’s requirements, then use that as the basis for the search.
Even at that point, the organization can’t just pick a vendor and hand everything off to them. They need a definitive set of measurable statements. They also need a project charter that outlines Why the solution is necessary, What requirements need to be in the final product, and How to manage it on the organization’s side.
Once underway, the Solution Architect should continue to manage the project, especially when it comes to adopting the solution. Just recently we witnessed a company who couldn’t name who was in charge of integrating the ERP into the organization’s suite of solutions. When it came down to it, it was apparent this was just being left to the vendor.
Situations like these are why, even in the most extreme scenario where an organization trusts a vendor to provide the ERP project team, there must be a point person from within who adapts their approach to the needs and realities of the organization itself.