It is common practice to use governance structures during an ERP implementation. Panorama conducted a poll last October revealing that the most effective project governance structure, according to respondents, was the use of executive steering committees.
Our 2014 ERP Report found that some of the key ERP implementation challenges for respondents were a lack of clear project objectives and milestones, a lack of project planning and a lack of clear project roles and responsibilities – all of which can be improved by engaging an executive steering committee.
The executive steering committee is a chief component of a successful ERP implementation. It is responsible for “steering” the ERP implementation toward the business objectives that originally justified the ERP investment and for managing the impact that the project may have on end-users.
Key decision makers from each business unit should be involved in this cross-functional committee as the committee’s decisions have broad, organizational-wide impact. Establishing an executive steering committee with a formalized governance structure is essential to risk management and ensures that your ERP project is aligned with your overall corporate strategy.
During an ERP implementation, many organizations make critical errors during system customization and configuration. The executive steering committee can ensure that your ERP system is customized only where necessary – typically, for processes that support your organization’s competitive advantage.
A strong executive steering committee can identify and mitigate potential risks and blindsides that the project team may have overlooked. By increasing executive buy-in and support, a steering committee can ensure that executives are ultimately responsible and accountable for the outcome of the ERP implementation. While most executives are not involved in all of the day-to-day details, they should be involved in key decisions surrounding business processes and organizational changes.
ERP implementations are a business-driven initiative with long-lasting effects on how an organization operates. Through risk management, project controls and a clearly-defined corporate strategy, an executive steering committee can ensure that your ERP implementation is a success – and considered so by all stakeholders.
Learn more by registering for our on-demand webinar, Business Process Management: A Critical Success Factor of ERP Implementations on August 21st.
Written by Stephanie Figgins, Business Analyst at Panorama Consulting Solutions.