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I’m back with my monthly unbiased perspective on the business software environment.

This month’s theme:  “Begin with the End in Mind” 

Certainly you’ve heard the above quote before (thank you Stephen Covey).  It can trigger thoughts about how it might apply to many things in life, including life itself. (I digress…)

Related to our normal topic matter: “beginning with the end in mind” drives the success of any ERP upgrade. It’s that simple. For more specifics, please read on.

If you’re in the process of planning or executing an ERP system, undertake the exercise of assessing and defining measurable outcomes (“the end”) from the upgrade process!

If you’re planning an upgrade – do this definition exercise NOW.

If you’re executing an ERP upgrade – do the exercise NOW – midstream. It’s far better than not doing it at all.

How?  Begin by organizing a brainstorm session among the company leaders that stand to benefit from the ERP upgrade where you investigate and document the things that matter most about the pending (or in-process) implementation.

Get started: here are some sample questions to spark the outcome measurement “brainstorm session”:  
Document the results and outcomes from discussing these topics:

  • Why are we doing this upgrade?
  • What kind of changes in process or efficiency do we expect to see when we’re done?
  • How can we assess if these processes are in place upon completion?
  • How can we measure efficiencies that we expected to gain from the upgrade of the system?
  • How will our business be improved by this upgrade, and can achievement of these improvements be confirmed?

Don’t count on your ERP reseller/integrator to ask these questions.

However, the good one’s do. They want to be accountable to your success.  We can help you find these diamonds in the rough.  They will keep the “end” in mind throughout the upgrade process.  And they won’t be afraid to be measured as to their role in helping you achieve these goals.

Governance over these “end in mind” objectives and measurements:

As your project ensues and progresses, keep a short version of these key measurements close by – and refer to them in periodic project status meetings – and in your steering committee meetings.

In fact, your company’s ERP project “steering committee” should be holding the project teams from both the company and the implementation firm responsible to be progressing towards achievement of these key factors and measurements.

Closing:

If you’re considering an upgrade to your ERP or business software and want to have an experienced, unbiased helping hand, feel free to ping us. For your reference, we do this on a national basis.

We’re here to help. Unbiased, independent, and experienced. Our designations and multi-faceted experience (including private industry CFO and IT leadership positions) make us uniquely positioned to help our clients in this area.