Meet the ERP Project Team

Posted by Dave Balser

January 30, 2017 | 10:30 AM

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When you begin an ERP implementation, upgrade, or large-scale business process re-engineering project, you typically hire a team based on their experience and expertise. But who all is involved with a project, and where does your team fit in? Get ready for some handshakes, because it’s time to meet your project team.

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The Client Side

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is made up of executives and senior managers from key business units and departments involved in the project. The Committee initially builds consensus throughout the organization and then, once the project is underway, ensures that the project continues to meet the set vision, goals, and objectives. Throughout the project they will also meet to approve significant business process changes, be the decision makers on business-critical issues, review and approve scope or schedule changes, and provide general direction and leadership for the project.

Early in the project, the Steering Committee meets monthly, but as the project progresses, the frequency typically shifts to quarterly meetings. 

Executive Sponsor

This is an executive-level team member who has the ultimate authority over the project. They allocate funding, fulfill client-side project resources, and provide executive-level direction when needed. The Executive Sponsor is the vocal and visible champion of the project both within the organization and for the consulting team. 

Project Sponsor

The Project Sponsor is ultimately responsible for the success of the project. They have knowledge of the internal business case and key objectives of the project. They will receive regular project updates, provide clarity to the project vision, offer leadership, and remove business-related barriers to the progress of the project. Depending on the size of the project, the Project Sponsor and the Executive Sponsor roles can be filled by the same person. 

Project Manager

Depending on the size of the project and the client’s project team, there may be a Project Manager on the client side as well as on the consulting side. The Project Manager acts as the main point of contact for managing the project deliverables, budget, and timeline.

The Project Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the project and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered on budget, on schedule, and within scope. This resource also administers change requests, ensures timely publication and approval of project documents, conducts status meetings, and publishes updates to stakeholders.

Ultimately, the Project Manager mitigates risk and helps ensure that the client’s requirements are met by managing the project deliverables, budget, and timeline.

On larger projects, there may be multiple project managers including from the consulting company, each responsible for a project area or “swim lane.” In these cases, a single project manager should be appointed as the senior, with responsibility for the other managers. This gives the Steering Committee and Executive Sponsor a single point of contact for everything related to the project. 

Stakeholders

As with any business endeavor, these are the people that have an interest in the outcome of the project. While they are typically client team members, some projects can include Stakeholders who are external to the company, including investors, customers, and suppliers. Responsibilities vary, but Stakeholders might confirm project changes or grant approval to proceed to the next phase of the project. 

Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

SMEs are client team members who participate in defining requirements for the project. They usually have expert knowledge of a specific function, technology, or business process. Typically, the needed Subject Matter Experts include:

  • The System Manager, who will need to be involved in the technical aspects of the project so the software systems and infrastructure can be supported post-go-live.
  • Functional leads and users in Accounting, Customer Service, Procurement, and other areas to provide business process and other knowledge important to understanding how the business conducts itself. Functional leads should be people with intimate knowledge of the business because they will become the first line of support personnel in their respective areas when the project goes live.
  • Internal IT Business Analysts, who act as liaisons between the project team and the general user community. They assist in gathering and documenting business requirements and test scripts, and can assist in verifying test results.

The Consultant Side

Managing Director

This executive-level person on the consultant side is responsible for managing the customer relationship as a whole across the entire project. They work directly with the client’s executive team to ensure that all of the commitments made by both the Consultant Team and the Client Team are completed.

The tactical responsibilities of this role include ensuring the assignment of qualified staff and delivery of acceptable results. The Managing Director keeps track of developments and trends in the industry, and is the counterpart to the client’s Executive Sponsor.

Project Manager

The Project Manager acts as the main point of contact for managing the project deliverables, budget, and timeline. The Project Manager also helps to mitigate risk and ensure that the client’s requirements are met by managing the project deliverables, budget, and timeline.

The Project Manager is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the project and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered on budget, on schedule, and within scope. This resource also administers change requests, ensures timely publication and approval of project documents, conducts status meetings, and publishes updates to stakeholders.

Project Team

The Project Team is made up of those individuals who are responsible for planning and executing the project. They can be full- or part-time, technical or functional. The size of the Project Team varies with the complexity or size of a project. Project Team Members are responsible for completing tasks related to their expertise as well as completing deliverables according to the project timeline.

Functional Team Members assist the client organization with best-practice business process design, training, system configuration, and functional business process testing. Skills and expertise typically align with the SMEs identified by the client organization. Functional consultants provide support to the client organization for several weeks post-go-live. Generally, the Functional team is comprised of team leads that closely align with the Client’s Subject Matter experts, including:

  • Finance and Accounting
  • Sales Order Processing and Customer Service
  • Procurement and Inventory
  • Manufacturing and Shop Floor

Technical Team Members, much like the client-side SMEs, provide assistance and guidance in preparing the production environment and completing Go-Live technical tasks during the run up to production. They are ultimately responsible for ensuring the various environments are available consistently throughout the project. These roles include:

  • CNS and system maintenance
  • Legacy ERP data conversions
  • Development and customizations

In Summary

Obviously each project is different and not all roles are needed for every project, but filling out these roles will help define project responsibilities from the start. The best way to begin is by going through the process of defining and documenting a formal project charter. This provides a solid basis for accurate project planning and reporting, and ultimately helps deliver the ideal ERP solution for you.

Are you ready to get started? Click here to learn about our JD Edwards methodology. 

Ready to get started? Contact us about your JDE project.

Topics: JD Edwards, ERP

About Dave Balser

Dave Balser is the JD Edwards Delivery Director at Briteskies and has 15 years of experience implementing, upgrading, and managing JD Edwards World and EnterpriseOne systems. In addition to his enthusiasm for JD Edwards, Dave is equally committed to championing sustainability practices within Briteskies.

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