In a previous article, Akuiteo discussed the value of using an external ACA in the deployment of an ERP software. The ACA (Assistant to the Contracting Authority), with its dual expertise in "business needs / management software" is both an advisor and a mediator between the client and the publisher. Discover three tips to better orchestrate this complex trio and frame the relationship between the client and the ERP editor!1/ Distinguish clearly roles between the ACA, the publisher/integrator and the customer
As a ACA it is your responsibility to clarify roles and responsibilities of each member of the trio and to ensure that they are honoured.
The client is the owner of the project development
He needs an ERP software and has requirements to fulfill but development and deployment are not part of his job. He must therefore be accompanied. Ensure that they remain a "sponsor" with requirements and imperatives without encroaching on overly technical issues or the means to achieve a result.
The publisher / integrator is the owner of the project management
He has expertise in IS and has developed the software, but he does not know precisely the company's processes. Make sure that the publisher is involved in providing technical solutions that are consistent with the demand. Support him or reframe his actions if necessary.
ACA, you are the link between the client and the publisher/integrator with your dual expertise
You provide advice and your expert opinion on the ERP software and its rollout. You also play an essential role as a mediator between the project manager and the project owner, so that each of the parties works as efficiently and calmly as possible. What are you aiming for? The smooth running of the ERP project.
2/ Communicate, communicate, communicate (don't do so by email)
Flow of communication is all the more important as it takes place between three actors (instead of two) who can sometimes ignore business specificities of one another. In this regard, effective collaboration must be supervised and highly codified. In practice, you should ensure that:
- each actor is informed of everything,
- everything is written down,
- arbitrations take place,
- regular reports are drawn up.
All these elements must be validated (simply sharing the information does not equal acknowledgement and less still the approval of the recipients!).
In practice, refrain from sending emails. Those one-way speeches are not heard, contradict one another, and do not always require an answer. Prefer collaborative platforms where all exchanges are centralised, archived, operational advances available to all permanantly. These platforms also facilitate project progress by offering the possibility of questions/answers, task assignment, automatic management of certain data, etc.
3/ Remain result-oriented: ERP objective!
Finally as a ACA, keep in mind the primary goal of your mission: to create an operational management system. Stay focused on starting and drawing results. The customer will impose a number of requirements and formulate the request for a perfect ERP, delivered finalized. The publisher also has constraints and will have to optimize the mobilization of their resources. As a mediator and guardian of the project success, it is your responsibility to push parties towards effective and timely starts.
ACA, you are at the heart of the success of both the choice and deployment of an ERP. Promote mutual understanding of each other's roles and focus on small successes that generate satisfaction in the short run and efficiency in the long run. Step by step, build on these successes to implement an ERP that meets your customer's expectations. It's all up to you now!