Assign a Customer Project Manager
Recently, Software Advice released their eBook “How to Avoid ERP Implementation Failures” giving practical input and summarizing with ‘Best Practices’. Focusing on the four ‘Best Practices’ listed in the eBook and working with market researcher, Forrest Burnson, and the BatchMaster Implementation team, I’ll discuss a “how to execute” strategy for these best practices.
Best Practice #1 – Practice proper Change Management – Assign a Customer Project Manager
Burnson: What surprised me in our research was that in many of the ERP implementation failures, ERP vendors got the sense that executives and upper management were detached from employees and implementation.
BatchMaster: In order to address ‘Practicing Proper Change Management’, assigning an internal Customer Project Manager (PM) is absolutely mandatory. We call this PM our ‘single point of contact’ or SPOC, representing a single interaction point to help minimize miscommunication and provide direction and timely decisions. The Customer PM gathers information from stakeholders/sources and delivers messages.
Working together with the BatchMaster Consulting Project Manager, the Customer PM can facilitate getting employees on board with the upcoming changes to their daily work and communicate to various staff members by function (peer group, technical group and executive level group). The PMs work together to keep communication open, communicating by group as follows:
- Peer Group: PMs can demonstrate to employees tangible benefits (including benchmarks of expected improvements). This helps improve staff commitment to the project. In the case of a reluctant employee, the PMs can get upper management involved early in the process.
- Technical Group: PMs can highlight relevant technical details.
- Executive Group: PMs can update executives by discussing revenue and return on investment as it relates to ERP solution. Executive group can resolve showstoppers and provide support and funding when needed.
We believe using these separate dialogues for each audience is more beneficial in keeping communication open and facilitating proper Change Management. Burnson agrees that a Customer PM keeps upper management engaged in the process.
Get more information on BatchMaster for your organization at ERP Software
Christy Hudson is a Sr. Marketing Manager at BatchMaster Software. She is approaching the 30-year mark working with and for organizations providing ERP solutions to the for process manufacturing industry. Christy has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a Teaching Credential from Cal State Long Beach. She has also completed numerous courses in Marketing and Accounting.
Forrest Burnson is a market research associate at Software Advice, a firm that connects software buyers with vendors where he covers the ERP, inventory management and supply chain markets. He graduated from the University of the South with degrees in political science and French studies. In 2013, he earned a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas. Prior to joining Software Advice, he was a writer and researcher for Global Water Intelligence and he was published in a number of other outlets, including the Texas Tribune, the Austin Business Journal, Market News International and the Austin American-Statesman.