Who should be the sponsor of the ERP project?

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When we implement a new ERP, who should be the sponsor of the ERP project?

Should it be CEO, COO, GM, CFO or MD?

You may say it depends!

Yes, it depends on many factors. But it should not rely on the job title but instead on qualities.

We often label people with job titles and put them in a box. We may then want to choose one label over the other for the sponsor role. However, it adds no value so let us park it!

Let us instead focus on the qualities the sponsor must have:

  1. Leadership
  2. Big picture thinker
  3. Understands the business model (current and future)
  4. Decisive
  5. Keen listener, observer and learner
  6. Dangerous at times
  7. Takes everyone together
  8. Delegate
  9. Communicate effectively
  10. Ask great questions

We can keep going with the list, but you got the idea!

Another aspect to consider is the type of project. For example, if the project requires a complex backend finance operation and integration to niche applications, choose someone from the Finance team. Similarly, if the project focuses on rolling out a professional services application, choose a sponsor from operations.

There is a big responsibility on the sponsor’s shoulders. So, do not appoint the sponsor you like. Instead, one with the right qualities, domain knowledge and mindset to serve!

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