A Strong STEERING COMMITTEE is Important for ERP Project Success

A Strong STEERING COMMITTEE is Important for ERP Project Success


One of the key parameters for a successful ERP Project implementation is to constitute a very strong and powerful Steering Committee. Many companies take this lightly and pay a heavy price for ignoring this key parameter of success. Let’s look as to why having a strong steering committee is paramount for a successful ERP Implementation project by analysing about it.

Who should be in the Steering Committee?

Constitution of the right steering committee is half the battle won. The Steering Committee should constitute of at least the following personnel:

  • CEO – To show the commitment towards the ERP Project
  • CFO – For Continuous financial decisions which are part of any ERP Project
  • CIO – Key person to manage partner relationships
  • Few more ‘C’ level leadership, could be Group Materials Head, Group Production Head / Product Head
  • ERP Software company – One Director / Principal level :  To ensure product support is available all the time
  • ERP Implementation Wing : Leader level – To ensure implementation commitments are secured
  • Director / Owner Representative from the customer side

Consistency of Steering Committee Meetings

It is typical of an ERP implementation project where a high-powered steering committee would be constituted with lots of fanfare and will meet once or twice post the kick-off of the project and then ignore the project and steering committee meetings altogether. Such decaying interest on the steering committee meetings is a guaranteed way towards failure of the ERP implementation project.

To ensure success of the project, periodicity, consistency and attendance of all stake holders is a must. The only way to ensure the attendance of all stake holders is by the CEO’s presence and commitment in the steering committee.

Acting as a True Decision making Body

Constitution and attendance alone will not guarantee the steering committee’s contribution to the project. It is essential to follow up with these actions:

  • Encourage project teams to openly discuss on hurdles
  • Make bold decisions to salvage the project without procrastination
  • Take financial calls where relevant to ensure the success
  • Track milestones meticulously and keep the pressure on the system
  • Express commitment towards Go-Live dates
  • Constant communication with the organization on the importance of the project

Conflict Resolution by Success Attitude:

It is typical of ERP Project implementations to see the involved parties in loggerheads all the time owing to conflicting interests. To cite a few:

  • ERP Product vendor would be subjected to unreasonable expectations on what the product can fulfil.
  • Scope interpretation disputes of the implementation partner
  • Delays caused by the implementing organization
  • Unreasonable automation expectations
  • Data issues

In all such instances, it is important for the Steering Committee to take a “Win-Win” approach and be objective towards the ERP implementation project success.

Throwing the weight behind ERP:

It is very typical of an organization to blame things going wrong on ERP. While this might be true on some cases, many times it is a disguise of a deeper problem. For example:

  • Integrity of MIS from ERP would be disputed in comparison to Excel.
  • Inventory deviations would be attributed to ERP

In all such cases it is usually easy for the Steering committee to trust their internal team and place the blame on the ERP Product / Partner. Usually upon deeper investigation it gets clear that Excel corrections and wrong practices are often the reasons for such situations rather than the ERP Product or Partner. Hence it is important that the steering committee throws its entire weight and unequivocal support behind the ERP product. This will send a clear message to the organization on making it work!

To discuss more about ERP implementations and steering committees, reach out to us at corporate@finsys.in