ERP Implementation Manager

ERP Implementation Manager

When a business is upgrading, installing, operating, testing or changing its enterprise resource planning software, it’s vital that the whole process is managed from a centralised position to ensure the implementation goes smoothly, is project managed and has the full understanding of the affected parties. The ERP implementation manager (often called an ERP implementation lead) is in charge of overseeing the process, hiring the relevant technical and training resources, and monitoring it once it’s up and running.

Since such systems are inevitably complex, especially over large national or multinational operations, there will be a good deal of delegation of tasks to experts in their specific fields, and reporting problems, progress and results to the senior management in the organisation. The role usually effectively becomes a project management task, although that doesn’t mean that specific project managers can’t be brought in to plan the hour-to-hour implementation milestones – as manager, you’ll just have overall responsibility for the delivery of the implementation to the standard expected from your employer.

The skills required

Most importantly, you’ll need to know ERPs inside out – their capabilities, limitations and differences – and you’ll often find yourself explaining these qualities to those above and below you in the hierarchy. Since there are dozens of providers, from household names like Sage, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP right down to bespoke solutions designed for specific organisations, ERP implementation manager candidates with a wide range of experience are often sought, especially if the company is switching from one system to another.

As with all management roles, communication is key. Here, you’ll be dealing with some very technical understanding of the system, but you’ll also need to get under the skin of the company and its procurement and purchasing structures to fully understand how best to implement their solution. This potentially complex information needs to be absorbed and relayed from and to a diverse range of staff and and management in clear, understandable language.

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