Seven Steps to a Successful ERP or CRM Launch - Slide 4

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An effective kick-off is very important to the morale of the team and the momentum of the project. It’s very important to coordinate this with the project manager assigned by the vendor. Insist upon having the consultants who will be assigned attend the kick-off meeting, introduce themselves, and describe how they will be involved with the project, what their role will be, and what they will ask of the core team.

The core team leader should prepare the team to present an overview of their function, their known strengths and weaknesses, comfort level with technology, any risks that they may see with the project at this stage (such as conflict with other corporate initiatives, company schedule, etc.), and some definition as to what improvements they anticipate in their area as a result of the new system – measurable targets that will be tracked throughout the project and post go-live.

It’s very important to have the executive sponsor and other leadership attend the kick-off meeting to show support and describe ways in which they are prepared to support the core team members and the project.

The ERP or CRM selection process can be a long and sometimes frustrating process. Vendors have been reviewed and site visits completed. The contract has been signed...now what?

The next 30 days are crucial to launching the project successfully, but it’s quite rare for a vendor to have consultants and project managers waiting for you to sign the contract so they can spring into action. Once a project manager is assigned, he or she will begin reviewing internal resources and begin planning the schedule of activities. The project manager and consultants will need time to review the documents and processes that have been gathered about your company. The project manager will begin to set up the project artifacts such as the initial schedule, project management website, communication plans and a definition of the scope and project charter.

This delay leaves a vacuum that can disrupt the momentum of your team. The following seven steps, outlined by Scott Priestley, president and founder of Lionshare Software, Inc., can help you keep the team focused and help launch your project successfully.

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