It’s no secret that manufacturers face never-ending demands from their customers, complex supply chains, increasingly competitive market conditions and other scenarios that consume available time and resources.
Given this scenario, one of the most compelling questions faced by a manufacturing company is how to effectively organize to meet the demands of an ERP selection project.
After managing hundreds of successful ERP selection and ERP implementation projects in a range of vertical manufacturing industries, we suggest a series of seven steps to effectively organize an ERP project.
A key step involves setting an ERP Project Charter.
A Charter Defined
First things first – what’s a ‘project charter?”
A project charter is the ERP team’s concise statement of core goals, objectives and intent. In essence, a charter serves as the “map” for everything that comes next.
ERP selection is extremely resource intensive. When a manufacturer is doing all it can to meet the daily challenges of customer demands, it can be easy to lose the focus of the ERP project’s original priorities.
Your Daily Compass
A well thought out project charter is a powerful daily tool for judging the effectiveness of an ERP effort. It essentially serves as a compass to keep the team firmly pointed at goals.
We’ve found that an effective project charter becomes a daily reference point for avoiding “scope creep” and keeping the ERP team focused on the end-result.
The ERP Project Charter
To keep it as straightforward as possible, the ERP project needs a well-defined charter that clearly states its mission and objectives. The project charter should be endorsed by the entire project organization and include the following elements:
- Project Mission
- Organization (resources)
- Organization Responsibilities
- Alternative Solutions
- Benefits of new system
- Costs (over 5 years)
- Expected Returns (over 5 years)
Keep it Simple
Don’t spend too much effort when creating the charter. We’ve found the most effective project charters are to the point, often created as concise bulleted lists
We’ve also seen that a charter is the best way to formally “kick off” the ERP project.
The step outlined here is only one of seven key steps a company should take when undergoing an ERP selection project.