Resource Management: The Means to a Successful ERP Implementation

Joe Hoover: Once the project vision and the project goals and objectives have been defined, the right quality and quantity of executive support and sponsorship are established so that when we have major accomplishments, we celebrate those accomplishments with all levels of executive support. It's not a question of setting up the vision or setting up the project goals, rather it's having continuous involvement of executives allowing the project members to get the feeling executive leadership is engaged is supportive during the trying times of the ERP implementation.

Barbie Hunley: Sometimes we're talking about ensuring that there is engagement at the executive level and on down, among those people and showing that there is an expansive understanding the work effort that's taking place along with the end-goals that are being achieved through this work effort.

Joe Hoover: Again, a lot of these topics we're talking about are related to resource management and resource management is key to the success of an ERP implementation. On this particular note, what generally happens is on an ERP proposal is you have the integration services vendor providing staffing plans. Within those staffing plans, they identify the amount of commitment required from your organization either by implementation phase or by month.

It's very important to pay attention to this because time is money and any delays in your organization's ability to have the right person, on the right job, at the right time, doing the right thing is essential. Without that, you could have delays, be it a design delay in a workshop or testing delays because people are not available. It's very important that agreed upon staffing plans are embraced by the organization and staffing is identified and filled as timely as possible.

Barbie Hunley: Joe, I think part of what you're talking about is when you're actually going through and reviewing the schedule together as a team with your implementation provider, you want to make sure you're considering your audits and your month-end close. It's really important to be honest with yourself as to whether you can truly dedicate the time for any given group. Alternatively, do you need to backfill them or rather, should you allot six weeks instead of four weeks, etc. Doing this up front will ultimately be a heck of a lot easier than when you're getting down the road and one group is moving faster than another group. Like Joe said, it can get pretty expensive.

Joe Hoover: What everything we've been talking about so far ultimately comes down to an honest assessment of your staff's ability to be involved in the project is critical.

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