How business champions drive your project to success

We explore the crucial role of Business Champions (subject matter experts, super users) in ERP and Digital Transformations, detailing a structured journey through the following phases;

  • Familiarisation
  • Immersion
  • User Acceptance Testing
  • Cut Over
  • Go Live
  • Post Go Live

By breaking down each stage, we aim to illustrate how involving Business Champions boosts project outcomes, contributing to increased success rates and sustainable growth.

What is a Business Champion

Business Champions are more than mere enthusiasts, they are the driving force behind the success of a specific project or initiative within an organisation.

These individuals bridge the change, training, and communication gap between project teams and end-users, ensuring a seamless flow of understanding and collaboration.

They have the ability to lead the change, testing, and training for their specific area, keeping the right stakeholders engaged at the right time to reduce resistance to change and increase the chances of a successful ERP or Digital Transformation implementation.

Importance of Business Champions

Despite their contributions, organisations may undermine the importance of business champions due to a variety of factors. This could stem from a lack of awareness regarding the role and value of champions, a failure to recognise their efforts and accomplishments, or a reluctance to empower individuals outside of traditional leadership hierarchies.

By overlooking the importance of business champions in ERP or Digital Transformation projects, organisations risk losing valuable talent and innovation.

Consequently, failing to recognise and empower these key players could significantly undermine an organisation’s transformation efforts, leading to missed opportunities for growth and success.

Key Activities Throughout The Journey

  1. Familiarisation

Business Champions start by grasping the project’s specifics needs, and their responsibilities. They often collaborate with the project team to receive a summary and demonstration of the solution.

  1. Immersion

Actively work with the technical team and take part in crucial decisions, such as assisting with data migration and creating user acceptance test scenarios.

  1. User Acceptance Testing

Representing end-users, they validate the system’s operational needs and involve end-users as necessary. They are also ready to begin creating training materials.

  1. Cut Over

They help ensure a seamless transition from the old to the new ways or working and organise drop-in sessions with end-users to keep them engaged and minimise resistance to the change.

  1. Go Live

They assist end-users at the start of implementation by offering support and addressing issues, serving as a bridge between the business and project team.

  1. Post Go Live

Address and resolve issues after implementation, including verifying bug fixes and holding sessions with end-users for continuous improvement.

In Summary

The journey through the role of Business Champions in ERP or Digital Transformations illuminates their indispensable impact on project success.

According to a study by Prosci, of the participants who had excellent change management programs in place, 88% met or exceeded objectives.