An Investigation and Classification of ERP Project Managers' Required Skills

An Investigation and Classification of ERP Project Managers' Required Skills

Mohsen Sadegh Amalnik (School of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran) and Ahad Zare Ravasan (Department of Information Technology Management, Mehralborz Institute of Higher Education, Tehran, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/IJSSMET.2018010102
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Implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERPs) is a complex and costly process that is usually accompanied with serious risks. Numerous research projects have been conducted to illuminate ERP Critical Success Factors (CSFs) so as to identify the main factors in enhancing success rate. Although project managers' skills of ERP system implementation projects are viewed as one of the most effective factors in the success of such projects, scant attention has been paid to them and their unique aspects have not been sufficiently discussed in the extant literature. Hence, this article aims at identifying the most relevant skills of ERP project managers and proposing a classification scheme. Based on the results of the robust Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), 16 identified skills were grouped into four distinct categories: “managerial,” “project management,” “human resource,” and “technical.” The results of this article can help scholars and managers to grasp an in-depth understanding of the skills required for project managers and the challenges they have to mitigate while implementing ERP projects.
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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are defined as software system allowing the complete integration of information flow from all functional areas in companies by means of single database; such a system is accessible through a unified interface for communication (Davenport, 1998). These systems have been increasingly adopted by organizations across various industries. Despite the numerous capabilities and advantages offered by ERPs, their implementation has not always proved to be effective and a high rate of failure has been reported as a major concern (Zare Ravasan & Mansouri, 2014). Therefore, over recent years, some researchers have provided valuable insights into the process of ERP implementation (e.g., Abdel-Kader & Nguyen, 2011; Soja, 2008; Soltani, Elkhani, & Bardsiri, 2014; Subramanianh & Hoffers, 2005; Wang, Shih, Jiang, & Klein, 2008) and others reported a set of Critical Success Factors (CSFs) or Critical Failure Factors (CFFs) in ERP projects (e.g., Amid, Moalagh, & Zare Ravasan, 2012; Payam Hanafizadeh, Gholami, Dadbin, & Standage, 2010; Khattak et al., 2013; Kini & Basaviah, 2013; Nour & Mouakket, 2011; Zhang et al., 2005). Within these lists of ERP projects’ CSFs, the availability of competent ERP project team and required competencies of project team members have been enumerated among the important CSFs (Doom, Milis, Poelmans, & Bloemen, 2010; Soja, 2006; Upadhyay & Jahanyan, 2011; Zare Ravasan & Mansouri, 2016). Similarly, some researchers have considered the inadequate skills of project team members as one of the main failure factors in ERPs (Aloini, Dulmin, & Mininno, 2007; Beheshti, 2006; Hawari & Heeks, 2010). As a result, previous research highlights the significance of competencies and selection of qualified and competent team members that possess the appropriate knowledge and skills. It is clear that the success of an ERP project relies on its team members competences. In particular, given the enterprise wide scope of an ERP project, the availability of interdisciplinary and specialized skill groups in the form of teams is of crucial importance (Hanafizadeh & Ravasan, 2011).

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