The process that D&A uses to maximize the return on the implementation of ERP Systems is a combination of steering committee and implementation team approach. The number of teams, their sizes and their duration vary by company and installation. Team members should consist of cross-functional representatives from the areas that the new system will affect. Your philosophy for the actual make up and number of teams should be decided close to the projects onset.
This is a major undertaking and as such, the project requires upper management to understand the overall scope of the system and give their support and guidance to the implementation team. This can be in the form of a steering committee, made up of an executive committee, or a single person. The steering committee has ownership of the project. During the implementation considerable time, money and impact on the operation of the company will result from this project. The project has to have the necessary assets made available to insure success. Management has to put the proper priority on the completion of the implementation. And insure the ample employee time is allotted to the project.
The second Part, and equally important, team or committee is the implementation team. This group needs to have a representative from each of the functional departments that the new ERP system will touch. The people should be very knowledgeable of their departments responsibilities, know the current issues that affect productivity and quality of output. In addition, they should be well respected throughout the company, communicate well and have high energy with a positive approach. The amount of effort and time required will fluctuate and as a group and the company has to find ways to support these team members so that the day to day and the new system both succeed. The team needs to be cross-functional so that as the workflows are developed the members needs and concerns of how the process will affect their area can be noted and addressed.
This is an excellent opportunity to review and update standard operating procedures. It has been our experience that many duplicate steps and other inefficiencies are identified and eliminated as Part of the implementation. The Payback on these improvements can be very significant, resulting in a quicker return on investment on the system.