Forming a Team to Support Enterprise Research System

Jill McKinley
Implementation Support Lead II, Forte
December 11th, 2018

Key Roles to Drive Successful Enterprise Software Use at Your Institution

When implementing enterprise software at your institution, properly staffing your core team is vital to successfully launching and supporting your system. The size and roles will vary based on your organizational goals and the available resources, but planning ahead and ensuring that key roles are filled early in the process is essential.

During my time at Forte, I’ve had the chance to work with customers in a variety of roles, including support, training and implementation. From my experience, here are a few staff roles that play a part in a successful core team:

Project Sponsor

The project sponsor is key to the success of any software project. Software must be used in way that populates key reports and dashboards to help leadership make wise decisions. Without data from end users, the software will lose its value and key details about the organization will be lost. A project sponsor from leadership exists to act as a conduit from leadership to the coordination teams and users. This will provide vision and energy and resources to the project, as well as keep everyone together with the purpose and use of the software. They will also keep groups accountable, mitigate risks and act as an escalation point throughout implementation and beyond.

Application Coordinators

Application coordinators are the owners of the software projects. The come from variety of backgrounds including informatics, research science, project management or business analysis. They keep the work flowing in and out of the software and related protects while ensure the interests of leadership, users and auxiliary staff are met. Application coordinators’ roles can vary as technical administration, troubleshooting, managing meetings and projects, documenting and training. A successful coordinator will ensure the free flow or projects and data, and are responsible for software set up, workflow testing, and maintenance. They should be flexible and detailed-oriented professionals who can adapt to a variety of situations.

Trainers

As you probably know, trainers are invaluable to any software project, as they will ensure the users know how to properly use the software, what is expected of them and how benefits they will gain from the system. Developing a training plan that allows for video training, tip sheets, at the elbow training and classrooms will ensure that users in all roles fully understand their responsibilities. Trainers will typically develop and lead new user training, refresher training, new functionality roll-outs and more.  

Report Writers

Report writers are invaluable to any project. Proper data entry enhances compliance and ensures proper workflows. But if the data cannot come out in custom reports, your staff and leadership won’t get significant value from your system. Enterprise software helps different research organizations in different ways. Having the power of customized reports can make or break your software project.

Business Analysis

Business analysts translate business and user requirements into workflow requirements. They can serve as liaison from the core team to the end users and leadership. They gather requirements and converts them to software decisions. 

Subject Matter Experts

This role provide functional expertise to guide application setup, data migration mapping, and process development. They facilitate, coordinate, and arbitrate cross-functional discussions and decisions with stakeholders within key functional areas. They are champions representatives to the end user teams.

By focusing on these key roles, you can set your core enterprise team up for success. If your organization lacks the resources to fill each of these roles with a full FTE, it’s important to ensure that these needs are still being met. Whether you’re adding responsibilities to existing roles or utilizing outside experts to augment your staff, you should take care to build a team that can foster success for your enterprise system.

As noted above, training is a key aspect of driving adoption and ultimately getting the most value from your system. If you’d like to learn more, please register for our upcoming webinar Customizing End-User Training with a Role-Based Approach. In the webinar, Abby Ehringer, Forte’s Director of Training, will provide role-based strategies for personalized end-user training. We hope you can join us!

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