“How can I save money on my ERP Project? Let’s self-manage the tasks of a Project Manager or have the functional analysts manage it themselves.” This is not a new idea and something we have heard before. ERP projects are tightly budgeted and oftentimes project owners are looking for ways to cut costs.
Here are five reasons why using this approach is not recommended and why it can hurt your project.
1. As project managers, we understand the solution and the product.
- Resource Management: We know how long it takes the job to get done and we push for excellence.
- Realistic Activity Tracking and Forecasting.
- We know what it takes for us to get it done and for you to get it done.
- Budget – We manage the budgets. We monitor and report on them on a weekly basis. Our job is to forecast any potential overflows and call out any areas that need attention.
- Timeline – On a daily basis we’re tracking performance and deliverables. Our job is to make sure the project is on track and we remove obstacles that keep us from delivering on time.
- Scope – Our goal is to deliver what you paid for. Project Managers make sure that we’re delivering what you’ve asked for while trying to limit/eliminate “scope creep” or other obstacles that could impede the projects timelines.
3. We’re looking out for your best interests…we really are!
Customers often go to great lengths to either hire too many project managers or simply have none at all. The answer is balance. Why?
- Our goal is to see you succeed.
- We want to have a long-standing relationship.
- We want to come in at budget – we really do! This means minimizing change requests and working with the system or improving on processes to work around customizations.
- We’ll corral users when scope creep happens. Our job is to not let user imaginations go wild, but to keep them within the scope that has been agreed upon.
4. We know how to say “no” and we know when to say “yes.”
Project Managers are the gate keepers to the hours and delegation of tasks assigned to both our analysts and to the users in the organization. So, while Project Managers can sometimes be seen as the “Ogres” to all things financial and the gatekeepers to the SOW, here are some thoughts:
- We know when to inform the user community when something isn’t in scope. From the time a project starts and the users get their hands on the system, there is an excitement that generates within the organization. Users start to see functionality they haven’t had and would like to use more of it’s functionality. As Project Managers, we explain what can be done in future releases and we get them excited about the current potential, but we also encourage them to dream about future states.
- We know the SOW and we know where the hours should be spent.
- We can do favors – even if it’s not in the SOW. We understand that things come up and we’re willing to work as a team to get it done.
5. We tend to be psychic. We can see trouble coming and we will let you know!
Experience is the best indicator for predictability. As such, experienced Project Managers have an arsenal of tools at our disposal to predict and forecast issues coming down the pipeline. Experienced project managers will look at:
- The past – to better understand mistakes, improvements, and success.
- The present – are we delivering what we said we would?
- The future – are there roadblocks that we can call out? Are we going to hit our milestones?
We’re certainly not actually psychic, but a well skilled project manager will look at trends from previous projects to predict crucial timeline issues or successes. A seasoned project manager will forecast out potential resourcing issues, technical issues, or any other potential issue or risk and help mediate those risks back to the client. While project scope may be different, experienced project managers understand predictable trends based on decisions and skill sets. From this, we’re able to forecast any issues or problems that could impact the project.
Here is some of the expertise project managers bring into a project:
- Daily Metrics
- Task Tracking
- Status Reports
- Daily Communication
- Master Planning
It may be tempting to want to look for areas to cut back while budgeting for a project, but having experienced project managers on your team should not be one of them!
Happy Dynamics 365’ing!