Choosing the right stakeholders for an ERP implementation project is a critical step. It's also one of the most commonly overlooked.
An ERP implementation brings significant risk, and implementation project leaders must make sure they are including every step that can increase chances of success. The most commonly overlooked step in an ERP implementation is identifying and engaging key stakeholders early in the project.
Failing to include key stakeholders early in the project can negatively affect the ERP implementation in a variety of ways. Stakeholders may catch potentially costly mistakes like failing to include important tasks like data migration in the project plan. In addition, the stakeholders may not support the project if they haven't been included from the start.
The implementation project team should first identify the stakeholders who will be affected by the new ERP system. These stakeholders may range from one employee to one department to the entire company.
Key stakeholders can fill a range of project roles. Some may serve as advisors, while others may step in to handle issues that project team members escalate. Some stakeholders may be active team members from the beginning of the project until the end, while other stakeholders may only give input at specific stages in the process.
Including the right stakeholders in the project can benefit the project in many ways. The stakeholders' subject matter expertise can help the implementation team evaluate ERP vendors, and the stakeholders can help configure and test the ERP system. They can also promote the new ERP system to their co-workers, which could help with system adoption, and help document new processes, which could make it easier for their co-workers to learn the new system.
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