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5 Tips to Build Your ERP Evaluation Team

Is your company looking at who should be on your ERP evaluation team?

The evaluation of any software vendor solution must be conducted with an ERP project team with proven expertise and objectivity.

But that’s tough when everyone in the organization has a full plate with existing duties, and in many cases – not too many folks in the organization have lived through such a complex and resource-intensive project.

Ultra was built on the premise of filling the gaps so common in manufacturing and distribution organizations, offering manufacturers and distributors extensive research and vendor independence that delivers a neutral frame of reference for the ERP selection decision.

Through our extensive business process improvement services, we guide the project team through an independent technology evaluation that is designed around the company’s future state needs.

5 Tips to Build Your ERP Evaluation Team

Based on our years of experience, we’ve seen what works when an organization puts careful thought into building the ERP evaluation team.

Shared here are the top tips about assembling the best ERP evaluation team members for a successful project outcome.

Tip 1: Start with an Executive Sponsor

As we offered in a blog post that looked at ERP project team roles and responsibilities, the most successful ERP projects involve an executive sponsor with the relevant authority to drive the effort. Should the ERP evaluation team meet obstacles that require budgetary sign-off or high-level management support, it is the sponsor’s relevant authority that moves the task along.

Many of the engagements we’ve led involved an executive sponsor who was a senior manager with a good grasp of technology and change management, for example, a CTO, CIO or VP of engineering.

Enlisting an executive sponsor is a crucial consideration to keep in mind for successful enterprise technology selection.

ERP evaluation team

5 Tips to Build Your ERP Evaluation Team

Based on our years of experience, we’ve seen what works when an organization puts careful thought into building the ERP evaluation team.

Shared here are the top tips about assembling the best ERP evaluation team members for a successful project outcome.

Tip 1: Start with an Executive Sponsor

As we offered in a blog post that looked at ERP project team roles and responsibilities, the most successful ERP projects involve an executive sponsor with the relevant authority to drive the effort. Should the ERP evaluation team meet obstacles that require budgetary sign-off or high-level management support, it is the sponsor’s relevant authority that moves the task along.

Many of the engagements we’ve led involved an executive sponsor who was a senior manager with a good grasp of technology and change management, for example, a CTO, CIO or VP of engineering.

Enlisting an executive sponsor is a crucial consideration to keep in mind for successful enterprise technology selection.

Tip 2: Seek Project Management Expertise 

Solid project management expertise is needed early on and is an essential part of an ERP evaluation team. The project manager coordinates the evaluation process, acts as the go-to for all other team members and steers the team in the right direction. This role involves setting project milestones, key timelines and schedules. Moreover, the project manager drives the process, organizes communications and manages evaluation timelines and reporting.

The project manager needs to have a thorough understanding of the project’s mission, targets and the ERP KPIs.

It is also fundamental that the project manager has a keen understanding of the enterprise software implementationphase following ERP evaluation and selection. Learn more about the importance enterprise project management. 

Tip 3: Involve Cross-Functional Staff

In creating a successful ERP evaluation team, keep the focus on selecting a cross-functional group of the organization’s best employees. In this way, the organization harnesses the innovative thoughts of employees to build ideas and create a knowledge-sharing environment. With open and transparent communication, team members can express their different concerns that reflect their expertise.

It’s all about getting a complete point of view. Pulling from across functions lets the overall project keep a high-level view of the process, as well as the project’s function-specific requirements. This approach also builds trust, collaboration, and autonomy among team members, even after evaluation and selection is complete.

Tip 4: Consider the Process

ERP evaluation teams often struggle to clearly define the evaluation criteria. Ultra Consulting advises manufacturing and distribution organizations to start with five basic criteria:

  • Function fit
  • Technology
  • Company
  • Support
  • Cost

The internal ERP evaluation team will expand this list as it progresses through the project.

We’ve expanded on each of these five phases in a previous blog post entitled Evaluating ERP Vendors – Evaluation Criteria.  While each phase of the process is critically important, an examination of function fit is where most companies start. The fit of the vendor’s software to your requirements is highlighted through a demonstration of the software. The team should provide the vendors with a list of needs. The vendor then demonstrates how the software meets those needs.

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    Joe Deep
    added on 4 Feb, 2016
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