Are you planning an enterprise system implementation? Choosing an independent, client-side consulting partner for your Enterprise Software enabled Digital Transformation is so important. Here’s what you need to know and why.
For many organisations, the implementation of a modern ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), HCM (Human Capital Management), or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platform is the most significant strategic initiative they will embark upon in a decade. Given the overall organisational impact and high failure rates of these projects, it is crucial to partner with experts that truly have your best interests in mind.
Independent enterprise software and digital transformation advisory and consulting firms that are vendor agnostic, are by far the best choice to serve as a trusted advisor throughout your journey, rather than simply relying on the technology implementation partner or systems integrator.
So, to help you along the path to digital transformation first consider the following criteria and vital questions you should be asking to assess the capabilities and fit when you short-list suitable organisations to be your partner.
Enterprise System Implementation Expertise and Track Record of Success
The implementation of enterprise solutions is a highly specialised area and anyone that does not do this day in, and day out will put the project at risk. First, seek information about their focus as an organisation. Is it highly specialised in enterprise software-enabled digital transformation or more general in nature? Are they always client-side or do they also play vendor-side roles? What are their references like? Are they in your industry and/or have expertise in similar-sized businesses to yours? How many successful projects have they led end-to-end? All these questions are essential for you to know upfront.
Note too, that opting for an internal resource or an external individual contractor, without the backing of an organisation with the breadth of resources and experience to provide support when required, significantly decreases the chances of a successful outcome.
Implementation Methodology, IP, and Accelerators
It’s important that you can understand their methodology to manage enterprise software implementation projects and assess the quality of their IP and accelerators. It should include all activities: deliverables, lessons learned, tools, and accelerators that constitute good practices, all of which should be based on hundreds of successful implementations. It should be business focussed, technology agnostic, and easy to integrate with any Implementation Partner technology implementation methodology. It should be crystal clear on client/independent consulting firm responsibilities and deliverables.
Range of expert services on hand to bolster your enterprise system implementation project team
Systems implementations will invariably require a range of expert services to bolster your project team. Will these expert services be available to draw upon? Consider the following:
Independent Trusted Advisory, QA, and Risk Management
Your Steering Committee needs objective insights and guidance from people who have been doing these projects for decades. This is a small price to pay for an insurance policy to hedge against failure, cost overruns, frustration, and lost ROI.
End-to-end Project Management
There are plenty of Project Managers out there but very few Project Leaders with extensive ERP experience and a history of successful projects behind them, who know all the risks and importantly, address them before they turn into issues.
Organisational Change Management
This is not simply about effective communication, training, and managing resistance. It’s about helping your people transition, being productive sooner, and minimising disruption to your organisation.
Business Analysis and Process Management
To ensure your future ways of working are optimised and critical requirements are supported.
Data Migration Services
To automate the extraction, cleansing, and transforming required from all current sources into the target data structures. Often, it’s expected that the technology partner will do this for you, but they won’t, and this is a major stream of work that is best tackled early to avoid causing costly delays later.
Experienced and Available Resources
How broad and deep is their resource pool? Are they all permanent employees or a bunch of contractors without a proven track record of working well together in an integrated way? Can they provide the right mix of experienced and qualified professionals to help you at the right times, depending on your capacity and needs?
Do your due diligence and be sure you know the answers to all the above questions before you decide on an implementation partner. Knowing this information will ensure that your enterprise system implementation has the best chance of success and disruption to your organisation.
If you’d like to talk with SMC, we are always happy to listen and share our knowledge about successful digital transformations.
SMC is a 100% independent advisory and consulting company that specialises in enterprise software to enable your digital future.