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Implementing ERP software can have many benefits but do most ERP implementations actually achieve these expected benefits? Our research has shown that many do not; according to our 2013 ERP Report, 56% of organizations have received less than 50% of the benefits they anticipated.

Panorama’s ERP consultants have found that a defining characteristic of successful implementations is a strong ERP project team. When building a project team, organizations should of course look for necessary knowledge and skills but they should also engage team members with complementary personalities and potential to fill unique roles.

Professors Kenneth Benne and Paul Sheats published a study, Functional Roles of Group Members, in which they identified key personality traits that contribute to strong teams. Following are five of those personality archetypes that may be particularly useful in ERP project teams:

1.   The Cheerleader encourages other team members to participate and recognizes them for their contributions. This role is especially useful for spurring engagement on both the project team and throughout the enterprise at large. The cheerleader role is essential to ERP project teams as well as organizational change management teams.

2.   The Peacemaker helps team members reach a consensus when compromise is necessary. Peacemakers can do this by focusing on the success of the organization as a whole and explaining how overall success benefits everyone. This role is especially useful when defining and prioritizing business processes.

3.   The Sergeant-at-Arms ensures that the team meets deadlines and expectations while adhering to the organization’s core values. This role can help develop strong project controls and governance and gently remind team members of these guidelines.

4.   The Good-Humor Man relieves the tension and anxiety that ERP implementations tend to bring. Although humor can sometimes serve as a distraction, the right amount of jest can lighten the mood and reenergize team members for project deliverables ahead.

5.   The Contrarian is a critical thinker and innovator who is not afraid to share his/her opinion in a “groupthink” environment. This role can challenge team members to think about the implementation from a perspective of business results instead of from a technical perspective. The contrarian can also ensure that the project team does not blindly follow best-practices but considers what is best for the organization’s unique business processes.

A successful ERP implementation is characterized by a strong project team with distinct roles and responsibilities. Surveying individual personalities can help project managers determine who would best function in each role.

To learn more, watch our free, on-demand webinar, Lessons Learned From Best-In-Class ERP Implementations.