Do You Have What It Takes to Be an ERP Champion?

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Isaac Herman

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be an ERP Champion?

29/01/2021 Categories: Articles

The ERP champion isn't a specific job title; rather, it's any person who decides to strongly advocate for an upgrade to their organization's back-office systems. An ERP champion could be anyone from the CIO to an IT team member. The common thread is that they will always be somebody who identifies problems in a company’s backend processes, identifies technological solutions for those problems, and works to get those solutions implemented.  Let's say Company A is having a problem with data errors and redundancy. It's a common issue; when companies use a group of siloed software applications, data needs to be entered and re-entered into each app. All this data re-entry is causing human error and unnecessary data repetition for Company A. Not only that, re-entering data takes up valuable time Company A’s employees should spend elsewhere. In the end, repetitive information caused them confusion, increased their order times, and disrupted order fulfillment. Champions become champions because they identify problems like the ones above and decide to take action. Often, the solution lies in a new backend system, commonly an ERP. When the champion chooses to advocate for a change as significant as a new ERP, they become the initiative's number one "cheerleader," as well as the go-to resource for anything related to the implementation.  Change can scare people, but the ERP champion needs to get everyone on board with the change. Strong leadership skills are required, and they need to come in the form of transparency and cooperation. An ERP champion needs to encourage their team to assess what's not working and have them come face-to-face with challenges they face every day. Over time, the reasoning for a new system will become apparent.  The project champion is then responsible for keeping the team engaged and moving the project forward. Since ERPs are built to scale and evolve alongside a business, ERP champions need to stay on message: This is cutting-edge technology that will fix current issues and adapt to new problems on the horizon.  Beginning the Project To begin the project, confirmation must come down from the CEO and executive team. Those are the people an ERP champion needs to convince first.  If you’re an ERP champion, you need to assemble a "dream team" of cross-departmental internal stakeholders before kicking off the project. Include people with day-to-day experience using the existing backend systems and listen to their needs and insights. The ERP team must be willing to continue doing their daily duties while replacing the old system with the new one. This is where an ERP champion's leadership skills must shine through and keep everyone motivated to complete project

champion could be anyone from the CIO to an IT team member. The common thread is that they will always be somebody who identifies problems in a company’s backend processes, identifies technological solutions for those problems, and works to get those solutions implemented. 

Let's say Company A is having a problem with data errors and redundancy. It's a common issue; when companies use a group of siloed software applications, data needs to be entered and re-entered into each app. All this data re-entry is causing human error and unnecessary data repetition for Company A. Not only that, re-entering data takes up valuable time Company A’s employees should spend elsewhere. In the end, repetitive information caused them confusion, increased their order times, and disrupted order fulfillment.

Champions become champions because they identify problems like the ones above and decide to take action. Often, the solution lies in a new backend system, commonly an ERP. When the champion chooses to advocate for a change as significant as a new ERP, they become the initiative's number one "cheerleader," as well as the go-to resource for anything related to the implementation. 

Change can scare people, but the ERP champion needs to get everyone on board with the change. Strong leadership skills are required, and they need to come in the form of transparency and cooperation. An ERP champion needs to encourage their team to assess what's not working and have them come face-to-face with challenges they face every day. Over time, the reasoning for a new system will become apparent. 

The project champion is then responsible for keeping the team engaged and moving the project forward. Since ERPs are built to scale and evolve alongside a business, ERP champions need to stay on message: This is cutting-edge technology that will fix current issues and adapt to new problems on the horizon. 

sailing to success

Beginning the Project

To begin the project, confirmation must come down from the CEO and executive team. Those are the people an ERP champion needs to convince first. 

If you’re an ERP champion, you need to assemble a "dream team" of cross-departmental internal stakeholders before kicking off the project. Include people with day-to-day experience using the existing backend systems and listen to their needs and insights. The ERP team must be willing to continue doing their daily duties while replacing the old system with the new one. This is where an ERP champion's leadership skills must shine through and keep everyone motivated to complete project tasks on time. 

A great champion must:

  • Secure executive team buy-in and make it visible throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  • Understand their role as a facilitator and trusted advisor. Selecting and implementing the new ERP technology must be led by the actual users, while the champion is there to support them. 
  • Be transparent about the project's progress, its challenges, and its successes to the executive team. While it's the champion's job to be supportive and optimistic about an ERP implementation, they need to stay realistic when reporting project progress to stakeholders. 

By definition, champions need to be strong advocates, ready to fight for their project's success.  

championship trophy

Organizing the Project

View the project in two parts: system selection and implementation. 

System Selection

The initial system selection phase can be demanding. There are hundreds of ERP systems on the market competing for your attention, and your project team needs to whittle down the list to about three that merit serious vetting. 

When it comes to vetting your choices and making a decision, ERP champions must understand that the final selection is ultimately user-driven. Meet with your department heads to recognize their specific needs and how the ERP will help their workers on a day-to-day basis. After all, this system will become their everyday tool.

Implementation

The final negotiations and contract mark the transition from selection to implementation. It's now a project that requires a well-organized project team with a clear purpose and agreement on their ultimate goals. You also need an ambitious and diligent project manager (PM) to take control of the initiative. 

A great PM needs to be able to organize, plan, and manage the effort. They must be invested with the authority and awareness to quickly identify and resolve any issues that inevitably arise along the way. As an ERP Champion, be available to the PM as the ultimate resource on what critical issues the ERP will solve and how the implementation will solve them. Be prepared to answer a lot of "why" questions. 

kensium logo

Choose Kensium As Your ERP Solution Partner

At Kensium, we have an entire group of ERP champions. We love working with dedicated ERP champions on the client-side because they are as passionate about building new solutions as we are. Together, we can combine our know-how to ensure you create the best solution for your needs and goals.

If you think you're the one to the ERP champion for your business, contact Kensium today. We'd love to work with you. 

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ERP champion

The ERP champion isn't a specific job title; rather, it's any person who decides to strongly advocate for an upgrade to their organization's back-office systems. An ERP champion could be anyone from the CIO to an IT team member. The common thread is that they will always be somebody who identifies problems in a company’s backend processes, identifies technological solutions for those problems, and works to get those solutions implemented. 

Let's say Company A is having a problem with data errors and redundancy. It's a common issue; when companies use a group of siloed software applications, data needs to be entered and re-entered into each app. All this data re-entry is causing human error and unnecessary data repetition for Company A. Not only that, re-entering data takes up valuable time Company A’s employees should spend elsewhere. In the end, repetitive information caused them confusion, increased their order times, and disrupted order fulfillment.

Champions become champions because they identify problems like the ones above and decide to take action. Often, the solution lies in a new backend system, commonly an ERP. When the champion chooses to advocate for a change as significant as a new ERP, they become the initiative's number one "cheerleader," as well as the go-to resource for anything related to the implementation. 

Change can scare people, but the ERP champion needs to get everyone on board with the change. Strong leadership skills are required, and they need to come in the form of transparency and cooperation. An ERP champion needs to encourage their team to assess what's not working and have them come face-to-face with challenges they face every day. Over time, the reasoning for a new system will become apparent. 

The project champion is then responsible for keeping the team engaged and moving the project forward. Since ERPs are built to scale and evolve alongside a business, ERP champions need to stay on message: This is cutting-edge technology that will fix current issues and adapt to new problems on the horizon. 

sailing to success

Beginning the Project

To begin the project, confirmation must come down from the CEO and executive team. Those are the people an ERP champion needs to convince first. 

If you’re an ERP champion, you need to assemble a "dream team" of cross-departmental internal stakeholders before kicking off the project. Include people with day-to-day experience using the existing backend systems and listen to their needs and insights. The ERP team must be willing to continue doing their daily duties while replacing the old system with the new one. This is where an ERP champion's leadership skills must shine through and keep everyone motivated to complete project tasks on time. 

A great champion must:

  • Secure executive team buy-in and make it visible throughout the entire project lifecycle.
  • Understand their role as a facilitator and trusted advisor. Selecting and implementing the new ERP technology must be led by the actual users, while the champion is there to support them. 
  • Be transparent about the project's progress, its challenges, and its successes to the executive team. While it's the champion's job to be supportive and optimistic about an ERP implementation, they need to stay realistic when reporting project progress to stakeholders. 

By definition, champions need to be strong advocates, ready to fight for their project's success.  

championship trophy

Organizing the Project

View the project in two parts: system selection and implementation. 

System Selection

The initial system selection phase can be demanding. There are hundreds of ERP systems on the market competing for your attention, and your project team needs to whittle down the list to about three that merit serious vetting. 

When it comes to vetting your choices and making a decision, ERP champions must understand that the final selection is ultimately user-driven. Meet with your department heads to recognize their specific needs and how the ERP will help their workers on a day-to-day basis. After all, this system will become their everyday tool.

Implementation

The final negotiations and contract mark the transition from selection to implementation. It's now a project that requires a well-organized project team with a clear purpose and agreement on their ultimate goals. You also need an ambitious and diligent project manager (PM) to take control of the initiative. 

A great PM needs to be able to organize, plan, and manage the effort. They must be invested with the authority and awareness to quickly identify and resolve any issues that inevitably arise along the way. As an ERP Champion, be available to the PM as the ultimate resource on what critical issues the ERP will solve and how the implementation will solve them. Be prepared to answer a lot of "why" questions. 

kensium logo

Choose Kensium As Your ERP Solution Partner

At Kensium, we have an entire group of ERP champions. We love working with dedicated ERP champions on the client-side because they are as passionate about building new solutions as we are. Together, we can combine our know-how to ensure you create the best solution for your needs and goals.

If you think you're the one to the ERP champion for your business, contact Kensium today. We'd love to work with you.