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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hannan

6 Components Of Succesful ERP Project Management

If you're the project manager of an ERP implementation, you know how important it is to have a clear plan for success. The stakes are high, and there's a lot to consider. ERP projects can be complex and time-consuming—not to mention expensive—so having a solid foundation is critical.

So, what are the key components of a successful ERP project? Well, we're here to help you figure that out. While many variables go into ERP project management, here are six core elements to keep in mind.

Organizational Structure and Responsibility

When it comes to ERP project management, organizational structure and responsibility are key components. Your team needs to be organized to maximize efficiency and streamline the workflow during the ERP implementation process.

Organizational structure is essential for ensuring that everyone knows their role and responsibilities within the project. It's important to identify the person or team in charge of the ERP project and ensure that everyone else involved clearly understands their respective roles. This will prevent any confusion or overlap and ensure that tasks are completed on time.

In addition, it's important to assign responsibility for oversight of each task and ensure that progress is continually monitored. This will help ensure that the project moves forward steadily while providing an opportunity to course-correct before problems become difficult to overcome.

Publishing a contact list and a project organizational chart at the onset of the project is recommended. This should include defined roles such as Steering Committee Members, Functional Owners, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), Technical Leaders, Developers, Escalation Points, and more.

Whatever task tracking system is used, whether a system that accompanies the software (like Azure DevOps does with Microsoft Dynamics) or a stand-alone project management system like or Asana, there is one person responsible named for each task. This is how you drive accountability. Sure, many people can work on one thing, but one person is responsible, and that is known.

ERP Scope Management

Scope management helps an organization clearly understand the project's goals, objectives, timeline, and budget. It requires an in-depth analysis of the system's requirements and limitations and an inventory of existing systems and vendor capabilities.

By carefully defining the scope of each ERP project at the outset, you'll be able to anticipate and implement solutions for scope creep before it becomes a major problem. Here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:

  • Establish a clear picture of what success means for the ERP project early on

  • Regularly review project goals to ensure everyone remains focused on them

  • Involve stakeholders throughout the project

  • Identify and analyze any conflicts that might arise throughout the project

  • Calculate accurate estimates for costs and time needed to complete each phase/task

  • Ensure your team has access to quality resources like people, money, materials, etc

  • Document any changes or deviations to the initial plan so you can quickly adjust plans if needed

  • Log requests from stakeholders that are not in-scope so they feel heard and the feedback can be managed with appropriate responses.

ERP Cost Estimation and Budgeting

This involves understanding the total cost of ownership (TCO) accurately. The TCO is calculated by adding the total cost of implementation, hardware and software costs, training and support staff, maintenance, and upgrades.

A successful project manager needs to be able to set realistic budgets based on realistic TCO calculations. This includes being able to estimate the costs associated with accurately:

  • Purchasing hardware (for non-cloud), hosting (cloud), and software licenses

  • Installing or upgrading new systems or software

  • Customizing existing systems or software

  • Developing or buying a customized module

  • Training users

  • Integrating existing systems into a new system

  • Setting up service agreements

Project managers should also anticipate future costs associated with upgrades, maintenance contracts, technical support fees, and other related expenses. By doing this, they will be in a better position to understand their budget and how it compares with what has been planned– ensuring that their project remains successful for the long term.

ERP Scheduling and Timelines

Creating a schedule that allows for the successful deployment of your ERP system is essential. To ensure you get the most out of your ERP system, you must proactively plan for it and prioritize tasks against the timeline. This means developing a roadmap for project planning, scheduling, and timeline management to ensure all tasks are completed orderly and efficiently.

For ERP project management, there are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to setting timelines:

  1. Establish realistic deadlines – establish realistic deadlines, as rushing can lead to poor performance or errors.

  2. Break down projects into manageable chunks – breaking down projects into smaller tasks helps ensure that nothing is missed during the implementation process.

  3. Plan for contingencies – establish backup plans in case anything goes wrong during the implementation process, such as changes in scope or unforeseen delays.

  4. Reassess timeline regularly – reassess timelines regularly to ensure they are still relevant and that any issues are addressed immediately before they become a significant problem.

  5. Track progress – track progress and adjust timelines if something falls behind schedule or an issue arises with the current timeline structure.

Quality Assurance in ERP Projects

To guarantee success with your ERP project, seven decisive steps need to be implemented for quality assurance. Adopting these steps into your ERP project management plan will ensure the quality assurance portion runs efficiently.

  1. Start with end-to-end testing and regular updates on the product development process.

  2. Include initial verification activities as part of system development.

  3. Ensure all data is accurately entered into the system and all modules are correctly tested and validated.

  4. Make sure any customizations meet the required operation, security, and regulatory standards.

  5. Develop a detailed change management plan for any necessary changes during development or later on in the life of the ERP system.

  6. Utilize user acceptance testing (UAT) as part of the final delivery process to ensure the product or service is up to par before deployment or release into production.

  7. Have a post-deployment assessment plan for quality assurance after going live with your ERP system.

Post-Project Review

This process should include a comprehensive assessment of the entire process from concept to go-live. This will help you determine which areas worked and which didn't and how processes can be improved for future projects.

You should also look for organizational learning opportunities to ensure that the same mistakes aren't repeated in future ERP projects. As part of the post-project review, you should also review any technology used in your project, such as whether a specific program or software provided the expected efficiency gains.

Some critical elements of an effective post-project review process include:

  • Scheduling "lessons learned" meetings with team members and stakeholders

  • Conducting surveys and interviews evaluating stakeholder perceptions of project performance

  • Reviewing project documents, reports, and plans

  • Assessing any changes made during the project

Parting Shot

Each component is an integral part of a successful ERP project management plan. By ensuring all of the components are addressed and documented, organizations can maximize their chances of achieving the goals they have set out to accomplish with their ERP system. To Keep up to date with the latest on ERP solutions, subscribe to our blog today!


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