Epicor Project Management is one of the most valued and least understood roles in Epicor ERP consulting. What is the role of a Project Manager? The role is analogous to the General Contractor on a construction project. Like a General Contractor, a Project Manager’s focus is on Timeline, Budget and Scope and he or she is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a project.
Epicor Project Management is imperative for organizations who want to minimize Epicor project ‘creep’ and ensure a successful Epicor implementation of their new Epicor ERP System. Scope refers to the breadth of the project; what specific elements (hardware, software and business processes) will (or will not) be eliminated, replaced or changed and how much of the business will be affected. Obviously, the bigger the Epicor project, the more details and planning are required to successfully manage the scope and ensure minimal disruption to sales and production.
Creating an Epicor project timeline requires coordinating project activities in conjunction with the ongoing business activities. A project manager will identify and detail activities required in each phase of a project and direct members of the consulting, technical and client project team to carry out each phase. An Epicor project management plan will be developed with scheduled target dates for completion of tasks within each phase. The time line bears a direct relationship to the scope of a project.
Project management helps keep projects on budget. A good project management plan identifies anticipated costs and risks early on to develop a realistic budget. Careful monitoring of hours and expenses throughout the project provides the opportunity for early course correction and reduces the risk of surprises. Clearly identifying goals or deliverables also reduces the risk of confusion and inefficiencies in time management that can result in being over-budget.
A project manager is also responsible for the myriad of details that comprise each of these focus areas: scheduling all Epicor consulting resources, facilitating project meetings, proofing and approving hours and documentation, coordinating quality control and testing, identifying and escalating issues to senior management. The role also includes processing countless emails and phone calls between multiple primary and third party vendors including the software publisher and related third party solutions. These calls include technical, compatibility, licensing, business or pricing issues as well.
Considering the critical nature of the project elements, is important to use dedicated project managers to oversee Epicor consulting projects from conception to completion. The most successful projects have a project manager on both the customer side AND the implementation partner side. Empowering the customer project manager with the authority to manage and re-allocate resources to ensure tasks are done on time is key.
Effective project managers are the heart of the project and help an organization implement an Epicor ERP project on time, on budget and with minimal disruption to the rest of the business. Whether it’s a new Epicor Implementation, Epicor Upgrade, or general Epicor Services, Epicor Project Management is vital to success.