Building Your ERP Team – Part 2 – The Core Team

In Part 1 of this blog series we explored two components of ERP Talent Application.

  • The overall goals and objectives of applying talent
  • The talent pools to choose from both internal and external.

In this post we will examine the most critical talent pool of your ERP team – The Core Team.  The Core Team is the group of individuals entrusted with architecting a business model that produces breakthrough results and simultaneously preserves the operational integrity of the business. While assigning a top talent team does not ensure breakthrough results, assigning mediocre talent almost always ensures mediocre results.

Three important criteria should be considered when assembling this leadership group:

  • Team Player
  • Individual Competencies & Skills
  • Organizational Power

Each of these criteria are equally important on the surface, but should be weighted based upon the organization’s culture and the characteristics that are most critical to facilitating and affecting change. Let’s break these down:

Team Player – in order to derive the results you expect from an ERP / Transformational effort you need a team that can see the big picture and collaborate on visions and processes that are cross-functional, cross-cultural, and often cross-business units. The players you select for your team need to adopt an “organization comes first” attitude and recognize that they will need to compromise for the good of the organization. This team also needs to recognize that any one team member cannot succeed unless the whole team succeeds and that any individual requires the cooperation of other members to complete assignments. As I said in Part 1 of this series, ERP Implementation is a team sport.

Individual Competencies, Skills and Knowledge – When it comes to individual competencies, your core team will require that its members are proficient in: Negotiation, Communication, Innovation, Logic, Organization, and Thoroughness. These competencies have long lead times for development, so start with this as your base for individual selection criteria. The skills required will include: presentation skills, the ability to test assumptions and processes, and some skills when it comes to IT. Knowledge is the final component on the individual evaluation criteria. Critical to success: knowledge about existing business processes on how and why they work the way that they do, knowledge on the ERP implementation process, and knowledge regarding the capabilities of the ERP system to be implemented. These final two components of knowledge can be reasonably acquired in a short period of time with a well-constructed talent development plan.

Organizational Power – the individuals that are selected for the team must have the professional capital and the organizational clout that will provide them the authority to make sound decisions. The ability to make the critical decisions necessary is derived from the previous two criteria (Team Player, Individual Competencies, Skills, and Knowledge). If the team selected is not qualified on the first two criteria, then assigning individuals with simply organizational power is likely to backfire. If the individuals lack organizational power, it is likely to be difficult to facilitate significant change. As a general rule the individuals that are selected should be viewed as promotable. This will make them less likely to be married to the status quo.

As I heard it put one time, you are not looking for A/A (average/available) players on your team, you are looking for B/B (bold/brilliant).

In Part 3 of this Series we will examine the role of independent consultants and the part time players in your organization.

Stay Tuned!

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