20 Steps to Implementation Success

Excerpted from “Who Will Project Manage Your ERP or Order Management System Implementation?” by F. Curtis Barry & Company | Order Management/ERP Systems

Editors Note: We have been avid followers of F. Curtis Barry for many years. Check out our implementation process.

International studies show that 50% of all major systems projects are not completed on time and within budget. Often once the projects are delivered they don’t meet the users’ expectations after spending considerable capital and extensive time. After Go Live the users of the new systems often spend six months or longer to absorb and understand how to do their jobs with the new system. Often this means that company productivity suffers.

While there are a variety of reasons for these problems, overall the single biggest contributor is the lack of experienced project management. Owners and managers underestimate the time required. Companies choose to customize and modify systems which add cost, risk, and delays the timeline. Plans are not at a sufficient level of detail to manage tasks and meet completion dates. Successful project management aims to reduce these types of problems, open up communications with stakeholders and deliver better results.

Who should be responsible for project management – your company, the vendor, your IT department?

First of all, an OMS system is not IT’s responsibility from a project management perspective. The project manager should have a broad understanding of your business, the departments’ functionality and the senior management expectations and goals. Expect them to make recommendations in terms of process changes, use of systems, conversion of files, etc. However, only your management can direct employees on how to train employees, changes that will be required to accounting based systems as an example; customer service based decisions, etc. The vendor will have a project team and a manager. However, the overall responsibility is yours.

To detail the key responsibilities that management should expect from the project manager, we have developed the list below. The project manager must delegate, get the cooperation and the best thinking of a broad base of people within the organization to implement successfully.

20 Responsibilities of the Project Manager

  1. Plan and coordinate implementation with all stakeholders and the vendors.
  2. Update the Project Steering Committee monthly.
  3. Recruit and assemble a team from vendors and internal department personnel.
  4. Develop a complete written plan for the entire project. Define detail project plans at the task level with estimates, dependencies and task elapsed time duration.
  5. Daily follow up on tasks, touching base with team members.
  6. Gain sign-offs with project members at key milestones.
  7. Develop and review specification documents for program changes, system integration, and interfaces.
  8. Preparation and readiness of plans and results from Go Live.
  9. Quality and testing plans and review of test results.
  10. Planning for files and history to be converted; review of results and data integrity.
  11. Provide weekly task completion, status, and comments to all stakeholders.
  12. Resource and skill requirements to complete project tasks. Examples: availability of programmers, trainers to write procedures, etc.
  13. Work with management to be sure their people are available to meet implementation tasks and dates. Examples: review specifications, test programs, review converted files, train, write procedures, etc.
  14. Implement and gain usage of project scheduling and collaboration tools.
  15. Provide leadership in procurement process (e.g. server and software components, software).
  16. Projection of cost estimates and budgeting. Review of invoices for payment.
  17. Lead post-implementation audit; develop task list of items which are not completed and to set new dates with the internal staff and the vendors. Examples: programs which are not working correctly; further education and training for users; etc.
  18. Prioritization, estimation, and scheduling of functions that were delayed from Phase 1. Items which were taken out of Phase 1 to simplify implementation.
  19. Project risk analysis throughout the project.
  20. Communication with all stakeholders.

Project Management as a discipline has spawned hundreds of books. The international organization for project management principles is the Project Management Institute, www.pmi.org.

One of the most valuable human resources you can develop in your company are certified project managers. There are many on-line courses that are available. We would recommend developing some key project managers that can guide major company projects in systems, new facility planning, etc.

We recommend reading through our End User License Agreement about your responsibilities as a Project Manager and the Terms and Conditions in your quote. Every installation is unique and our team works closely with you to make sure you have the best possible experience and on time go live. Check out our implementation process for more details.

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