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ERP project’s internal stakeholder network and how it influences the project’s outcome

Jääskeläinen, Kristian and Pau, Louis-François (2009): ERP project’s internal stakeholder network and how it influences the project’s outcome.

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So far little effort has been put into researching the importance of internal ERP project stakeholders’ mutual interactions, realizing the project’s complexity, influence on the whole organization, and high risk for a useful final outcome. This research analyzes the stakeholders’ interactions and positions in the project network, their criticality, potential bottlenecks and conflicts. The main methods used are Social Network Analysis, and the elicitation of drivers for the individual players. Information was collected from several stakeholders from three large ERP projects all in global companies headquartered in Finland,together with representatives from two different ERP vendors, and with two experienced ERP consultants. The analysis gives quantitative as well as qualitative characterization of stakeholder criticality (mostly the Project Manager(s), the Business Owner(s) and the Process Owner(s)) , degree of centrality, closeness , mediating or bottleneck roles, relational ties and conflicts (individual, besides those between business and project organizations) , and clique formations. A generic internal stakeholder network model is established as well as the criticality of the project phases. The results are summarized in the form of a list of recommendations for future ERP projects to address the internal stakeholder impacts .Project management should utilize the latest technology to provide tools to increase the interaction between the stakeholders and to monitor the strength of these relations. Social network analysis tools could be used in the projects to visualize the stakeholder relations in order to better understand the possible risks related to the relations (or lack of them).

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