We have previously discussed the importance of an ERP project CORE team in completing a successful ERP, HCM or other enterprise application implementation. This is the team of individuals at the project level that takes responsibility for ensuring the project plan is carried through, deals with consultants and vendors and funnels critical decisions to the executive steering committee.
It is generally taken for granted that once this team is in place that they will perform their duties and carry the project forwards. However, we have found this is not always the case. We have recently kicked off several ERP projects with our clients and have witnessed vast differences in the level of commitment from different CORE teams.
This variance of dedication in CORE team members can vary based on how the team is structured and what communications have been given regarding their roles and responsibilities. If you are either heading into a digital transformation or are concerned that your CORE team is not carrying its weight, consider answering the following questions in order to “pump up” your CORE project team.
Why we are here: We find many cases where project teams are given little direction from the start and basically told they need to start attending meetings regarding a new ERP system. This level of communication is rarely enough to get anyone excited. Instead, make sure the team is given clear understanding of the corporate directives and strategy for implementing new technology. Sharing greater organization-level directives will give the team members a level of ownership in your company’s success. This is often best done by the ERP exeuctive steering committee.
Why me/WIIFM: Unless you are a Fortune 100 entity, your team members most likely have their regular jobs. As referenced above, if they are simply asked to join a “committee”, they will likely see it as just another responsibility that’s been thrown on their plate. Instead, along with sharing the goals and drivers of the initiative, let them know why they, as individuals, were selected. Being part of an ERP initiative is a career builder and should be considered an honor. Those on the CORE team were selected for a reason, and they should understand that their role is a privilege.
What I am supposed to do: Once identified, the CORE team members should not only understand why they are here but what their roles will be. As the software selection and implementation plans are being built, the CORE team should be the first ones communicated to regarding roles and responsibilities. The longer they are kept in the dark, the longer opportunities for fear and doubt have to build. As the CORE team will be positioned as change leads and communicators to the rest of the company, if they are confused then doubt could spread quickly across the organization.
What exactly is “ERP”, “digital transformation” or “cloud”: Technology terms are tossed around at an alarming rate anymore, and those of us in the industry tend to assume that everyone understands what we are talking about. This really isn’t the case.
Besides any representation from IT, the CORE team will be comprised of business users that to this point have only used technology as needed for their jobs and personal lives. Now they are being asked to take a bigger picture perspective and help to implement “HCM”, “WMS”, “SaaS”, “hosted cloud” and other such technologies for their employer. This is even true if you are implementing one of the industry’s top ERP systems.
Take the time to educate the team to a level deeper on what is happening. Also take the time to educate them on implementation best-practices, share some case studies, give them an overview on the importance of organizational change management and the impact these technologies can have on business success. This will be greatly appreciated and help solidify the earlier questions around why this initiative is happening in the first place.
Management, motivation and education of the CORE and/or Executive teams is an area that may require third party support or educational events such as Digital Stratosphere 2020. As always, reach out to your favorite Indepednent digital transformation advisor for suggestions and help on how to get your CORE project team motivated.