What Key ERP Project Management Tools and Techniques Are Recommended?

Many organisations are seeking to undertake large-scale Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) transformations to reap the benefits of automation, efficiency and maximisation of value-add activities. However, implementing an ERP system is no small feat, they are often very complex and time-consuming projects that need to be managed incredibly carefully to ensure successful delivery. In this blog, we discuss some specific project management tools and techniques that can be applied to these implementations to increase your chance of achieving objectives and enabling the benefits set out in the business case.

Key recommendations:

Clear Project Vision

Having a clear vision for the project helps align the strategic objectives with the final outputs and ultimately steers delivery towards the desired state. Because ERP transformations can become quite complex early on, there is a tendency to get lost in the weeds of implementation and lose sight of what the ultimate aim of the project is. If this happens, decisions may be made with a short-term view that solves the immediate problem but may not be in the best interest of the overall vision. Additionally, articulating a clear vision for the project upfront can help gain executive buy-in and motivation within the wider team to commit to the change ahead.

Risk Management

Risk management involves identifying, analysing, responding to, and closing out project risks. Due to the transformational nature of ERP projects, management of threats that could impact the entire organisation and jeopardise successful implementation becomes critical. Risk management also helps identify opportunities that could positively impact the project and increase the likelihood of achieving objectives. On top of this, risk management enables better informed plans due to the objective description of tasks, schedules and budgets that come out of the process, which in turn increases the likelihood that the ERP project adheres to plan.

Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder management is an essential tool for any project but if perfected within an ERP transformation project can contribute significantly to successful delivery. This is because digital transformations tend to span across entire organisations so the list of individuals who are impacted by the project, or can impact it themselves, is expansive. Within this large pool of stakeholders, there will also be conflicting interests and priorities as they are likely to sit across different functions within the organisation. For example, the ERP solution may be providing Finance and HR functionalities which could lead to tensions between the two departments if one believes they are sacrificing certain requirements for the others’ needs. Managing stakeholder expectations can be helpful when dealing with situations like this example. Undertaking a thorough stakeholder analysis which can be used to feed into a comprehensive communication plan is the first step in managing expectations and ensuring there is constant two-way engagement throughout the project.

Work breakdown structure

The thought of exactly what work is required for an ERP transformation and when it needs to be completed can be daunting, but using a work breakdown structure (WBS) is an effective tool for deconstructing delivery into manageable and distinguished tasks. Once the WBS structure has been completed, this becomes the building block for the project schedule and resource optimisation, which is typically displayed through a Gantt chart.  There are many software products available that help assist Project Managers with this type of work which can save time and increase accuracy.

Change Management

What is arguably one of the most important aspects of a transformation project, yet often the most overlooked, is change management. Digital transformations can fundamentally change the working lives of individuals across an organisation. Even though these projects are created for the betterment of the organisation and those within it, the journey to adopting and benefiting from a new ERP solution requires a change management focus throughout. Establishing a clear and comprehensive change management strategy, with people at the core, is a critical tool that ensures there is a change lens applied to the project throughout delivery and post-closure.


If you’re undertaking, or in the planning stage of, a large scale ERP transformation then we hope you found this blog useful and thought provoking. It may have posed even more questions, which we would be happy to answer. Let us know by getting in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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