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Why Every ERP Project Needs a Champion

Ray Rebello | August 29, 2017

Every business that sees the necessity of new ERP system software does so with the knowledge that ERP implementations can be challenging. Which leads to the oft-asked question: is there someone who can do the heavy lifting, someone who can make the process a smooth and successful endeavor? The answer is YES and he or she is the champion. Because every ERP Project Needs a Champion.

When you think of the word ‘champion’, what comes to mind? If the song “We Are the Champions” by Queen does, you’re probably not alone (and good luck getting it out of your head) but most people will probably think of their favorite sports figure or a respected social activist who supports a cause they hold dear. These people are considered strong leaders, advocates, and winners – also known as champions.

Acumatica’s newest Whitepaper, “Why Every ERP Project Needs a Champion”, says a champion is the necessary ingredient for ERP implementations to succeed.

Free Whitepaper: Why Every ERP Project Needs a Champion

ERP implementations are not for the faint hearted

If you’ve been through an ERP implementation, then you know this to be truth: they’re hard. Implementing ERP system software takes a lot of time and effort starting from finding the perfect ERP solution for your business amidst a myriad of choices to putting the new ERP technology into practice. And it doesn’t end there. As the report points out, “To really get the benefits of your investment, you need to start using the additional capabilities that the new system brings to the table – those things that were missing in the old system that were the main reason you decided to make the change.” The journey to growth and success is ongoing and your commitment to an ERP system will result in an impressive ROI (return on investment).

For this ERP journey to commence, a core team of people taken from every aspect of the business – from the executive team to those who will be using the ERP technology daily – needs to be put in place. These people must be willing to continue doing their daily duties but also willing to take on the added responsibilities of replacing the old system with the new ERP system software. Most importantly, however, one particular person – a champion – must arise and take the lead.

“The project leader/champion is responsible for maintaining the interest and enthusiasm in the team that brought the initial implementation to successful completion,” the report says. “ERP by its very nature is destined to grow and change as does your business. Every company needs an ERP champion to keep that vision alive and lead the company forward to new competitive strengths from smarter, better information management.”

What exactly does the champion do?

It may be easier to ask, what doesn’t the champion do? His or her role is significant and demanding. But before we discuss their responsibilities, it’s important to explain what position they hold in the organization.

He or she is a member of the executive team who recognizes the system change as necessary from the start and has pledged to support the process from beginning to end. This person not only has past project management experience – this is too important to learn as you go – but has the communication, organizational, and planning skills to keep the ERP project on track.

If you take a moment to download the Champions Whitepaper, you’ll read about three customers spotlighted for their roles as champions during their Acumatica ERP implementations: Cliff Walters, Francisco Callegari, and Simone Cassar Parnis.

Here is a brief synopsis of what they say champions do:

  • Secure “executive team commitment” and make it visible throughout the entire project
  • Understand that selecting and implementing the new ERP technology must be led by the users and that the champion is a “facilitator, cheerleader, and trusted advisor”
  • Communicate the project’s “progress, accomplishments, challenges, and needs” to the executive team while keeping the lines open with the future users of the ERP system software

Champions by definition need to be strong advocates, ready to fight for the success of their ERP implementations, and have the endurance to stick with it.

Need a champion? Choose wisely!

After reading the Acumatica Champions Whitepaper, you’ll recognize the importance of having a champion when implementing your ERP system software as well as find out the other qualifications a person needs to be such a champion. Their position in your organization, their leadership abilities, and their passion for the ERP project are just some of the measures by which you choose your ERP technology advocate.

Just as importantly, the ERP solution you choose should undergo intense scrutiny and measured by a high standard. Is the ERP system software you’re considering cloud-based and able to integrate all of your processes? Does it offer the benefits of mobility, adaptability, and efficiency while supplying a single view of your entire organization and address the unique challenges of ERP implementations? It should and the team at Acumatica hopes you’ll inspect our cloud-based ERP closely – our true cloud ERP will pass the test!

Contact us – we’re ready to partner with you on the quest for growth in a time when technology preferences are changing. Cloud ERP technology is the answer for fast, cost-effective, and flexible deployments.

Download the Whitepaper

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Former Director of Product Marketing at Acumatica

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