Written by: Bob Green, Lead Partner
How encouraging, really. As often as we run into situations where ERP and technology transformation projects are off to the wrong start, or otherwise screaming for experienced leadership (literally all the time), we rarely encounter a general sense of optimism and confidence when speaking for the first time with executives about their current or upcoming systems implementation projects.
Well, last week, the “rare” happened. Ok, so we were about to spend an afternoon watching world class tennis which can explain some of the positive mood, but, prior to that I saw first-hand what we’ve recognized all along: business leaders who have given due consideration to strategically planning and properly preparing their organizations for ERP implementations and technology transformations want to share their success stories and tips for success with their peers – and they do so with an air of confidence and enthusiasm.
That made it easy for me to lead the discussion where we shared stories about why projects are undertaken in the first place, where they went well, the types of challenges they faced organizationally and technologically, and to transparently share the things that kept them up at night prior to their projects commencing. It was a positive, peer-to-peer strategy discussion that certainly had the repeated theme of “it can go well – you just need to plan for it”. Some of the preparation included bringing in firms like ours to help; others prepared by hiring the right internal team to undertake the project at hand, while others stressed the importance of setting proper expectations of their team and developing positive relationships with their software integrators. All from our playbook for the ERP and Software Implementation Life-cycle.
To that end, planning for success - as anyone reading our posts knows – is where we start with our clients. This occurs well before vendors are evaluated or full system requirements are documented. It’s just nice to hear it affirmed by executives who are clearly in the 20-30% who experience success, and not failure, in their implementations.
Also, I want to thank my colleagues at a particular software publisher who asked me to lead this dialog with CEO's and CFO's from a objective, product-agnostic perspective, in an executive client retreat that they sponsored.
Truly, success creates success, and people will share tips for your success – but it can’t happen without your committing to execute strategically and (like Covey) begin with the end in mind.
Reach out if you're looking for some guidance around your upcoming, or challenged ERP and/or technology transformation projects. Our team is here to help.