It’s a well known fact that ERP projects, if not managed well, can go haywire. Swelling costs and excruciatingly long timelines are an immediate result. Most of the consultants involved in the ERP implementation project will speak about losing business focus, inadequate project scoping and deteriorating vision. Another factor that most will hesitate to speak about in the open is that their team didn’t have a well-rounded Project Manager (PM). After all a PM is the captain of the ship and accountable for success or failure of the ERP project. Technical & project knowledge along with leadership skills is what you need to realise a successful ERP implementation.
Let us look at a few key skills that an ERP Project Manager or should we say a Project Leader should possess –
- Planning & Organization
- ERP managers need to multi-task. For successful execution, they need to have a well defined Project Plan & Scope in place. They need to be organized & have the work break-down structure ready at all stages of an ERP implementation.
- Accurate Communication
- An ERP manager should be a people’s person. He should have the ability to clearly convey his vision & action plans to even the most hard-to-convince members on their team
- He should act like a liaison officer who is skilled to go back and forth from one team to another, ultimately to get everyone on the same page & guide the project in the right direction all the time
- Timely Decision Making & Ownership
- Any manager should be able to make hard decisions which are backed by logic, facts & figures without any hesitation. An ERP Project leader has to be quick in solving problems and providing appropriate & timely advice to team members.
- Project Managers should own the projects they are involved in. They should be able delegate work efficiently and must hold each member of the team accountable for their set of tasks. But ultimately, the Project Leader should lead from the front and take full responsibility for project delays or roadblocks in the execution process.
- Excellent Team Motivator
- A Project Leader is nothing without a team. An ERP Project Manager must motivate team members to put in their best efforts. They should ensure each team member understands their role in project success.
- The manager should resolve any internal team member issues which may derail the project. They should ensure all the team members are on same page to avoid conflicts.
- Project managers should be good listeners. They should listen to and process inputs from their team and ensure that each member of their team feels included.
- To make an ERP implementation Project successful, the project needs a competent Project Leader. ERP Projects will certainly be easier and well organized under an able leadership. An ERP Project manager should ideally be an excellent leader with good Project Management skills.