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ERP Implementation Tip #2: The ERP Steering Committee has That Name For A Reason

Tip #2: The ERP Steering Committee: It Has That Name For A Reason

The ERP steering committee sits atop the ERP implementation project’s organization structure.  It is responsible for “steering” the project towards the ultimate destination – namely, the business objectives that justified the ERP investment.  It also has to manage the impact that the project may have on different business units.

To be effective, the ERP steering committee needs to be made up of key decision-makers from each business unit that may benefit from or be affected by the project. It is truly a cross-functional group whose decisions have broad, cross-functional impacts. The buck has to stop with the steering committee. If non-committee members have ultimate authority, the project will be set up for failure. Non-committee members simply aren’t in a position to appreciate how their decisions could impact other business units and the project. Making matters worse, this additional layer of authority often delays decision-making and, ultimately, the project.

So, the steering committee should be comprised of:

  • The CEO or person with equivalent authority over project matters
  • The CIO
  • The business manager stakeholders at the EVP or VP levels
  • The ERP Project Manager

With the exception the project manager, all of the other ERP steering committee members have something in common: organizational duties that compete for their time.

In next week’s ERP implementation project tip, I’ll talk about how the project manager can manage these competing priorities to keep the project on-track.

Good luck with your ERP implementation projects!

Your POV (post comments below)

  • Did your project have a formal ERP steering committee?
  • Who sat on your project’s ERP steering committee?
  • What types of decisions was the steering committee required to make?
  • Was your project’s steering committee effective?

In this series of weekly ERP project management tips, we walk you through an ERP implementation project using Pemeco’s “Milestone Deliverables” project management methodology.

You can buy our project management book and CD of template forms “Milestone Deliverables: The Hands-On Approach to Implementing ERP Projects”. Click here to learn more. Learn about our ERP implementation services by clicking here.

Want to avoid ERP implementation failure?

Download The CIO’s Guide to Preventing ERP Implementation Failure.

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