Common Project Sponsor assumptions to avoid!

Project Sponsorship

As organsations move towards digital transformation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have become crucial to their operations. However, the success of an ERP implementation project depends on various factors such as project management, vendor selection, and team collaboration.

The following are some common Project Sponsor assumptions when implementing an ERP system. These assumptions often cause pain and project failure, so please avoid them:

  1. IT Manager can manage the ERP implementation: One common assumption is that the IT Manager can manage the entire project. While the IT Manager may have technical expertise, managing an ERP implementation requires cross-functional skills such as project management, change management, and stakeholder communication.
  2. Software vendor/Integration partner will do the main work. We will test the solution: Another common assumption is that the software vendor or integration partner will do most of the work. The organisation  only needs to test the solution. This approach can result in a lack of ownership and understanding of the system, leading to problems down the line.
  3. Operations Manager has used ERP systems before, so he can manage the project: Having prior experience with ERP systems is helpful, but it does not necessarily translate to effective project management. A successful ERP implementation project requires a diverse team with a mix of technical, functional, and project management expertise.
  4. We will hire a project manager for ERP implementation. That is all we need: While hiring a project manager is an important step, it is not enough. The project manager needs to clearly understand the organisation’s goals, the ERP system’s capabilities, and how it aligns with the business processes. There are wide variety of other roles to cover (Data migration, Security, Testing, Training, Change management)
  5. The software vendor will guide us through the implementation process: While the software vendor or integration partner can provide technical guidance, they may not have a comprehensive understanding of the organisation’s processes and workflows. It is crucial to have internal project team members who can bridge the gap between the vendor’s technical expertise and the organisation’s business processes.

In conclusion, ERP implementation is a complex process that requires careful planning, collaboration, and a diverse team with the right mix of skills. As Project sponsors, it is essential to recognise the skills gap and partner with an independent consultant to help you navigate through the process.