Altus Dynamics Blog

Ensuring Solution Success – The importance of your project manager

Posted by Nicola Dickinson on Dec 9, 2013 12:00:00 PM

Deploying entire new versions of business process integration, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software requires organization, planning, and monitoring in order to ensure delivery of the initiative. This means managing the project, the delivery rollout, and the staff expected to use these applications. The ERP project manager is an integral part of the larger IT or ERP project team who is entrusted with the responsibility of managing and coordinating a specific implementation and/or rollout project. Ideally he/she is involved with the project management for the entire ERP implementation life cycle. This ensures that the project is completed on time, within budget and to the satisfaction of the internal clients/business units.

Your project manager will work closely with Altus Dynamics’ project manager to ensure the overall and daily coordination of your ERP project across the two organizations.

Early involvement

Along with the CEO, Executive Director, CFO, IT director or Chief Technology Officer (CTO), the ERP project manager is involved right from the evaluation and planning stages of investing in an ERP system. They create the project plan, understand the strategic implications of the project, and determine the requirements to achieve a successful implementation. They emphasize that the software rollout has to be carried out within the corporate-defined parameters of cost, schedule and quality. The ERP project manager is also a critical member of the core training team, which is formed by the enterprise IT team along with ERP vendor trainers and professionals.

Management with functional departments

The ERP software is rolled out for the use of business units, functional departments and other enterprise centers of an organization. The project manager has to establish and develop relationships with the managers and heads of these enterprise departments--who are their clients--in order to ensure the optimum benefit of the business transformation software. They will gather feedback from their clients about the ERP module implementation, the pain points, and the issues particularly as they relate to legacy IT systems and applications, and then uses this feedback to ensure delivery of improved service/functionality.

Leadership

The ERP project manager takes on the responsibility for the successful rollout of a new ERP system or a specific project involving deployment of new ERP modules. They lead, guide, and mentor all project team members throughout the implementation and rollout phases. They may oversee and manage project team members from multiple offices and across different locations and time zones. They need to have troubleshooting skills to address the project-related issues as well as the human resources needs of the team members, and make informed decisions in all areas of the project.

Daily management

Once the ERP rollout is in place, the project manager is involved in the daily monitoring of the project to ensure strict adherence to the envisioned plan. They check the log sheets containing specific tasks of the team members and address complicated issues that are escalated to them. They ensure that the systems and IT aspects of the project are functioning smoothly to ensure a trouble-free working environment for project staff. They work with the help desk that has been set up as part of the project to address IT-related issues and queries swiftly.

Other responsibilities

The project manager reports any substantial changes and risks immediately to the IT director to ensure they are aware of situations as they develop. The project manager will work with the IT director to determine appropriate responses. The ERP project manager addresses budget allocation issues and tracks the deliverables related to the project. They review strategies & methodologies developed by team members and prepare presentations and reports as noted in the communication plan for the IT director as well as business unit heads. Experienced project managers will be able to anticipate potential problem areas and will do their best to mitigate known risks.

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This Post Was Written By Nicola Dickinson
Nicola Dickinson is a Founding Partner at Sparkrock. She formed Sparkrock with a vision and mandate to deliver award-winning, meaningful and affordable technology solutions exclusively for the non-profit and public sector. With a passion for assisting non-profit and public sector, she provides true value by being an active member of the non-profit community.
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