After establishing your procurement transformation vision and following the selection of an implementation and enablement partner, it’s time to focus on starting the project and having all your resources mobilised and ready to go.
The Source to Pay implementation consultants you chose are the ones who will be able to advise you on what type of resources will be needed and what capabilities they should have.
Identifying the resources
Generally, the project team will include people from your own organisation, from your selected implementation partner and people from the software provider of your procurement platform. Each partner has a certain role to play in the project and understanding the roles and responsibilities will support the collaboration required to deliver the procurement implementation project.
Not all the roles within the team are full-time, but it is very important that when resources are required, they are made available and have the right skills and the authority to make the necessary decisions.
Usually, from the view of our source to pay implementation consultants experiences on projects, the team consists of project managers who should be trained and would ideally have managed a similar procurement or finance project previously; system and integration resources with the right technical expertise and user representatives who must have sufficient understanding of the business processes and the seniority to make decisions.
Building the Project Team
All team members should be informed on their role and they should also be aware of the business case for the procurement implementation project, which will keep the focus on the expected outcomes, the benefits and the changes that will be involved.
The project team to support a procurement implementation project would typically be based on this model:
From the client’s team there are usually a few key people with different skills and level of experience
- Project Sponsor – drives the delivery of the project’s benefits. Owner of the business case and must have the required authority to commit the resources to plan
- Project Manager – responsible for managing the tasks, resources, risks and issues for work to be undertaken by the client’s own staff. Collaborates closely with the project manager from the selected implementation partner to ensure all deliverables are completed on time and on budget
- Process Owners – SMEs will be called on to contribute to business process design. They should have detailed knowledge of existing processes but also understand the need for change and the vision for the transformed e-procurement environment. It is essential for them to have the authority to make decisions about future process design or system capabilities.
- Supplier/Catalogue Leads – data owners are needed in order to ensure that changes to data structures and management are understood, and to drive improvements to supplier and purchasing management.
- Administrators – system administrators are responsible for managing the system after it has gone live. They need to be closely involved with the set-up tasks during the project
- Change Management – skilled change management resources will be needed throughout the entire procurement implementation project to communicate and manage the entire impact of change to people within the organisation and to suppliers.
- Trainers – involving the training resources from day 1 of the project will ensure they can assess the training needs, design and deliver an effective training programme.
- User Acceptance Testing Manager – it is your organisation’s responsibility to design and execute test scripts which prove that the project has delivered as agreed.
From the preferred implementation partner’s side, the team usually consists of:
- Project Director – provides project direction and act as an escalation point for the client.
- Project Manager – manages the activities, resources, risks and issues for the areas they are accountable for.
- Solution Architect – responsible for the design of the proposed solution. Works closely with the integration team to ensure the product is integrated with the client’s system and processes.
- Change and Strategy Lead – provides guidance and direction for ensuring change is delivered smoothly and adverse impacts are minimised.
From a software vendor perspective, their team will typically have a sponsor, SMEs and integration architects to make sure optimum delivery and configuration of the e-procurement software and processes.
Key stakeholders should have senior representation on the steering group which is responsible for the project governance including monitoring project progress, reviewing and resolving risks and issues. The steering group should have representation from business areas not actively involved in the project work, but who may be impacted by the change that it will deliver.
There are multiple factors which can affect the success of the project team and these should be considered when forming the team. The team’s required capabilities of each role should be explicit, and each role should be assigned with care in order to make sure that each one of the resources are ‘used’ properly and in the most efficient way.
Creating structure in a procurement implementation project is not easy but taking a bit of time, in the beginning, to be organised can go a long way!