ERP & CRM: Why You Still Need a Steering Committee After Go-Live
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Why You Still Need a Steering Committee After Go-Live

ERP CRM Steering Committee

Your Post- ERP or CRM Implementation Scenario

Even before you began your ERP or CRM implementation, you identified that executive participation and sponsorship is a critical success factor.  You secured an executive sponsor, setup a project steering committee and throughout the project provided senior stakeholders with regular status updates. Now you’ve successfully gone-live and people are beginning to turn their attention back to their day-to-day responsibilities and the next major initiative.

What’s next? Too often, organizations treat ERP and CRM go-live as the end-goal rather than the beginning.  This is a mistake. Post-Implementation success relies on a number of proactive practices, and ensuring that these practices are observed comes down to the same factors that made your implementation a success: ensuring accountability in the form of executive participation and sponsorship.

What is the Solution? A Post-Implementation Steering Committee

ERP and CRM Steering Committees are an effective means of ensuring continued executive sponsorship and participation, allowing organizations to make the most out of their IT investment. Here is our C.A.S.E. for setting one up in your organization:

Commitment – Steering Committees demonstrate a long-term executive commitment to the success of the ERP / CRM within the organization.  If the executive members of a Steering Committee make a commitment to ERP / CRM, so will end-users.

Adoption – Adoption is a critical for extracting value from your ERP / CRM investment.  Steering Committee members are able to drive adoption, but also represent the views / concerns / interests of their respective team(s).

Strategy & Evolution – Organizations need someone to provide strategic direction and oversight for ERP / CRM applications, and future projects and services.  The Steering Committee ensures that your ERP / CRM are aligned with your organizational goals. They have the budget, authority, and influence to ensure that your system evolves to meet the changing needs of your business.

Convinced, but unsure how to get started?

Roles and Membership

At minimum, you should have a Committee Chair (someone who sets the agenda and chairs meetings) and a Recorder to document and distribute meeting notes.  Membership should consist of senior stakeholders and / or business representatives who have the authority to make decisions around ERP / CRM.  We also recommend including your Business Partner, as they will be able to provide insights into the product roadmap, and have a wealth of product experience and can provide guidance around ‘best practices.’

Meetings

Steering Committee meetings should be held semi-annually at the very least to review current initiatives, and set priorities for the forthcoming period.  Where possible, we recommend that the timing coincide with any budgeting / long-range planning activities.  The meetings don’t need to be long or formal.  It’s more important that the members are engaged.

To help you get started, we’ve included a sample agenda.

1.       Introduction

a.      Review Agenda

b.      Review actions from previous meetings

2.       Status Report

a.      Highlights – e.g. New forecasting report delivered and being used by management, Delivered advanced ERP / CRM workshop to staff, Increased adoption of mobile devices as a means of accessing ERP / CRM reports

b.      Challenges – e.g. Staff not receiving proper training due to recent hiring or employee turnover, Infrastructure issues that are affecting ERP / CRM access, Delays due to Key stakeholders taking vacation or unplanned absences

3.       New / Ongoing Business

a.      Topic

Action / Recommendation

4.     Next Meeting (have the Recorder send follow up meeting invite)

As with an implementation, success in this context is a fine art of balancing the day-to-day with long-term goals. Without sustained buy in, this process will continue to be a challenge.

Which strategies have you found to be a success in ensuring post-implementation success with your ERP or CRM system?

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