Project Managers are one key to a thriving business. After companies reach a certain size, a coordinated business information system is necessary to control costs, automate workflows and measure performance. This can be a significant investment even for medium sized companies. Relying on a vendors Project Manager (PM) to oversee the implementation for a customer/client company can be disastrous. A vendor’s goals and timelines may vary. Your company may well be one of many projects on the vendors list. Depending upon the qualifications of the individual PM a company is looking at an additional budget item of 4000.00 to 10,000.00 per week of the project.
As soon as the business analyst has completed their initial system review and elicitation of requirements the project manager should be brought in to help with vendor selection, start putting a client/company based timeline together and check data for potential conversion.
Data gathering. When implementing an ERP or CRM there is a great deal of data to be gathered to configure the new system. Everything from item numbers, UPC codes, Chart of accounts, Customer and Vendor lists etc. need to be gathered, reviewed, changes made and readied for import.
It is critical for the PM to get a timeline from the company’s perspective. Often an internal subject matter expert (SME) such as a sales manager will have a three-week vacation scheduled just as their knowledge is needed for the requirements for a smartphone app in the CRM project.
Monitoring progress is another critical area. The customer company needs as much vision into the progress of the project as possible. Cutover dates for accounting, inventory, production etc. are extremely critical and stressful. Having a dedicated PM who is familiar with the configuration and development of the system becomes more critical as these dates approach.
In short, a good project manager in your team can save your company time and money in the long run.