Project Team Roles And Responsibilities Information Technology Essay

The project Steering Committee includes management and other executive level stakeholders that will be directly impacted by the success or outcome of the CRM project. During the implementation, the Steering Committee will reach consensus or influence the most strategic objectives for CRM adoption as well as approve the implementation scope, approach, time frame and budget. Due to the relatively short duration of the actual software CRM implementation, the Steering Committee will incur more time and emphasis on CRM adoption, utilization, measurement and refinement. Post software implementation activities will include:

Verifying the users’ are actually using, benefiting by and endorsing the system

The information is being correctly organized and processed for operational support and analysis,

Information is accurate, available and in proper format or structure so that customers are better served, are spoken to with uniformity across the organization (a consistent message regardless of who’s speaking) and customer service consistent

These individuals will include the executive level stakeholders, Project Leader, Project Manager, Lead Consultant, Finance and MIS management and sometime key users. These individuals are responsible for reviewing the progress of the implementation, understanding the current issues, resolving critical issues, providing vision of future business opportunities and direction, and supporting the efforts through moral support of the entire project team.

Steering Committee responsibilities include the following:

Corporate-wide data sharing: Clearly sponsoring the organization’s customer information and data sharing strategy, which states that customer information is to be centralized and available throughout the organization (based on need and security pending) for sharing in order to promote effectiveness and better service the customer. This information strategy further prohibits individuals or groups from operating silo systems, shadow systems or other disconnected or standalone systems or systems which do not result in customer information being put in the designated CRM system.

Provide interpretation of company or project vision, direction and execution of objectives.

Provide project oversight and guidance on strategic issues and direction.

Make decisions which can change project organization, project scope, or allocation of project funding.

Ensure that the direction of the project continues to be in line with the original mission and goals set forth at the beginning of the project.

Support the project team in the resolution of cross-functional areas.

Keep informed of project status; ask questions to ensure accurate understanding.

Deliver regular feedback to the project team on performance and expectations.

Provide input for Project Leader and Project Manager periodic appraisal.

Executive Sponsor

The Executive Sponsor can be a liaison from the Project Team to the Steering Committee for a large project or can act as a substitute for a formal Steering Committee for a small project. The Executive Sponsor (often the VP of Sales, Director of Sales, President or Operations Manager) monitors the activities and progress of the Project Leader and Project Team. This individual is responsible for communicating project status to the Steering Committee, ensuring milestones are completed in a timely fashion, and providing the overall supervision of the employees assigned to the project. Additional responsibilities include being the primary contact for issues and questions from the Project Team as well as review and monitoring of the project plan milestones.

Other specific responsibilities may include:

Liaison to Steering Committee; Keep Steering Committee and project stakeholders updated as to project status, progress and/or any deviations.

Identify and secure all required project team members for the project (e.g. Functional Champions, Key Uses, System Administrator.)

Verify the dedicated participation of each required project team client representative (available to commit full-time during peak periods or coverage and backfill of team members particular areas).

Regularly review project status and emerging risks and select/approve potential solutions from those presented.

Provide direction on prioritization of emerging issues and risks.

Provide advice and council on major project and policy decisions.

Ensure the appropriate project team members and key decision makers are identified and available to fulfill their project responsibilities.

Identify and secure access to additional end user staff as needed to support specific areas of expertise not represented by the project team.

Provide informal project status and communications to project team members and various user communities.

Project Leader

This role will require an individual with strong management and communication skills who understands the operation and objectives of the CRM implementation. It is possible to have an outside consultant or vendor consultant and internal person that share the Project Leader responsibilities, however, advance planning must dictate specific roles and responsibilities. The Project Leader is the person responsible for the overall project planning and progress toward the implementation. This individual is responsible for monitoring, maintaining, and adjusting the project plan (based on the input and deliverables of team members), providing implementation experienced leadership strategies to the Executive Sponsor, and ensuring the effectiveness of the application consultants assigned to the project. Other responsibilities include reviewing and assisting in issue resolution, coordinating task dependencies, and establishing milestone project goals that keep the project on time and within budget.

Other specific responsibilities may include:

Conduct or facilitate the Implementation Project Kick-off and Status meetings.

Manage the customer relationship with the vendor.

Confirm solid understanding of corporate objectives and expectations; if necessary, reset objectives and expectations.

Approve the implementation schedule and project plan.

Measurement of plan vs. actual with variance analysis.

Continually monitor scope, time frame, budget and risk.

Manage project resources to assure maximum efficiency, effectiveness and resource utilization.

Manage consultants on project.

Periodic risk management – project risks and people risks – and development of mitigating strategies. Significant or high impact risks should be addressed with the Executive Sponsor.

Recognize change management issues and risks; develop recommendations and mitigating strategies.

Periodically measure and confirm stakeholder, Executive Sponsor, Champion, Key User and System Administrator satisfaction.

Functional Champions / Team Leads

Functional Champions or Team Leads spearhead an individual functional area (such as SFA, Marketing, Customer Service, or a particular line of business). These individuals are stakeholders from the department or line of business most affected by the module (e.g., SFA), have complete domain area knowledge and are dedicated to the project (and generally relieved of traditional day-to-day responsibilities for departmental operations while participating on their area of the project) for the project duration. Functional Champions must be empowered to make decisions for their domain area and their user community. They lead the configuration efforts and decisions during the Conference Room Pilot (CRP) phase with each software module. They further determine the current and anticipated transaction flows within the software module. Their primary objective is to gather process and configuration information from the key users and define the business system based on that information. These individuals may develop process flowcharts for the existing and new system processes, develop methods of resolving process gaps, identify report and data requirements for the respective modules to support the end users, and identify data conversion requirements to support their modules. Functional Champions are responsible for module testing, coordinating and facilitating key user meetings, scheduling key users for system tests, preparing process documents, approving training documentation, and ultimate training of the end users. Some of the major responsibilities for this role are as follows:

Understand the “as is” environment and provide functional expertise and knowledge of the existing business practices.

Responsible for the successful configuration, processing and implementation of functional area software modules.

Reconciliation of user requirements to the new system capabilities.

Liaison between user community and project team; Act as a mentor and liaison to other users of that functional area.

Represent the user interests in system design and software configuration decisions.

Design and configuration of software parameters for each module.

Identify and implement business process improvements and changes.

System Administrator (SA)

In order to take and maintain ownership of CRM utilization and long term success, the client must appoint an internal System Administrator (SA). Although technical experience is not required, the SA is a more technical resource to the project team and actively involved throughout the implementation project and post production processing. The SA will utilize tools built in to the Aplicor CRM system for all or almost all SA functions. All CRM applications that operate on a relational database management system (RDBMS) require skilled SA’s for steady operation.

Configuration & Setup:

Data importing: Validate cleanliness of data, scrub data and perform imports of accounts, contacts and/or opportunities into the CRM system (e.g. uploading user’s data from prior systems (such as ACT)). Reconcile and verify import results.

Web site configuration options: Selecting available option for system-wide utilization; such as system logo upload, splash page selection or updating of cascading style sheet (CSS).

Portal User Interface (UI) management: Assist management or users with the customization or modification of Menus and menu navigation.


User and role management: The creation, modification and removal of all user’s and roles within the CRM system. Resetting user passwords when necessary.

Security administration: Assigning and managing overall system security, user security and account-level security.

Field level data list management and UDF configuration: Assist management or Functional Champions with determining or modifying acceptable values from all data list fields throughout the CRM application and assigning or utilizing User-Defined Fields (UDFs) at each page.

Document Library configuration.

System training: Provide initial training to staff, and new-hires on an ongoing basis, for system usage.

Query management: Provide users training to create or modify queries throughout the system (using Query Manager and Query Builder).

Management & Administration:

Troubleshooting: Provide first level response to user issues or problems. Most issues or problems that are user-oriented will be resolved by SA, all other issues and problems may be escalated to the Aplicor Helpdesk.

User view management: Assist user’s with creation or modification of individual CRM views.

Monitor system usage: Verify utilization and enterprise-wide access (subject to business need and security) and viewing of customer information.

Continued user and role Management: Updating memberships and deleting outdated users and roles.

Resetting user passwords.

CRM Application Consultants

CRM consultants require thorough software product suite skills along with a detailed understanding of the particular software modules assigned. The application consultants are expected to provide functionality information and guide the implementation of the assigned modules. Their experience with the modules provides options of configuration, process designs, options for gap and issue resolution, training to the Functional Champions, hands on task completion support and troubleshooting support for software issues. The application consultants will also provide for knowledge transfer to the key users during the User Training phase and prior to reaching a production environment. Some of the major responsibilities for this role are as follows:

Provide input on task status and estimates to complete to the Team Leader

Spearhead the Conference Room Pilot configuration for each module(s)

Conduct analysis of business, transaction and individual user requirements

Conduct Business Process Analysis for the assigned module(s)

Resolve how the software will apply to the customers needs

Performing Functional Champion training; conduct software training for the module(s) assigned

Offer suggestions for process improvement

Outline new business procedures or processes

Confirm application test case scenarios, lead the process testing and analyze the test results

Guide conversion efforts and strategies

Lead the cut-over preparation, testing and verification

Report software bugs and aggressively follow-up on fixes

Provide post implementation support

Identify and resolve open issues

All Project Team Members

Every project team member has a fiduciary duty to make a proactive and positive contribution to the project. All team members are ‘owners’ of the project and the new system and are personally accountable for taking charge of their respective areas and promoting the project to their user communities and colleagues.

Project Team member duties include the following:

Provide input to process improvement ideas

Review circulated correspondence; provide feedback as required

Identify high impact / high return opportunities within respective areas

Proactively ask questions and offer input

Attend every Project Team status meeting; recognize the importance of this project to the organization

Keep Project Stakeholders updated

Act as liaison and constituent for represented user community: Keep user community informed of project status and progress, provide a mechanism for users to contribute to project and voice suggestions for improvement

Contribute to the solution: never offer criticism without suggestion. Team members must be contributors, not listeners

Project Office

Provide day to day project management and oversight of the project.

Track project status and provide status reporting

Promote adherence to the project schedule

Track issues and manage the resolution process

Define change and risk management strategies to assure early identification and complete, expeditious resolution;

Provide a framework for developing fundamental project management skills in the project team to ensure effective tracking of project status;

Lead Application Consultant

This role will require an individual with strong communication skills, technical skills, application expertise and business experience. The role of the Lead Application Consultant is to manage the project implementation to meet the agreed upon requirements and timeframe. In order to be successful in this role, the role will have the following responsibilities:

Approve all application consultants to be placed on the project team

Provide overall and daily management and support to all application consultants assigned to the project

Review and verify each consultants time and expense report for accuracy

Define roles and responsibilities for each application consultant

Work with the Project Leader and Project Manager to learn and manage the implementation to meet the agreed upon project objectives

Work with the users and other software publisher resources as required, and resolve queries and issues on an ad hoc basis

Notify management of requirements for resources in order to provide sufficient lead times for resources to be made available

Make timely decisions regarding the project priorities in order to minimize disruption on the project

Overall responsibility for assuring the quality of work conducted by their representative consultants

Attend all Implementation Project Status meetings

Technical Analysts

Ideally, there is one Technical Application Analyst for each module. These individuals generally come from the MIS area, are dedicated to the project and relieved of day-to-day responsibilities for departmental operations:

Assist with reconciliation of user requirements to system capabilities

Identification / design / development of required system interfaces

Identification /design /development of required data conversion routines

Modification of software applications forms/reports using publisher tools

Development of working knowledge of the software application table structures/data base functionality

System test planning and assistance to users in the execution of the system testing process

Support for User Application Analyst tasks as necessary

Focus Groups

Support the project team by actively participating in the research and resolution of project issues

Support the project team by actively participating in the assessment of configuration alternatives during the realization phase

Engage actively in the generation of business case scenarios and the development of test scripts

Participate, as required, in the execution and validation of test scripts

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