Apr 11, 2011
Buttoning down the business case
While the occurences of implementing large Enterprise Resourcing Planning (ERP) projects are reducing in some industries, the successful implementation of other technology projects, and ERP upgrades, is still one of the key issues that keep CIO’s – and sometimes the entire executive team – awake at night.
Technology projects have some unique challenges regardless of the solution being implemented – and often, the more sophisticated the solution is, the more challenging the implementation. Many of these problems echo the challenges faced by large ERP implementations over the past two decades – overruns in budget and time; expectations that are not met; benefits that are not achieved; unexpected costs and effort levels such as increased maintenance and support and downtime due to system failures. New systems can also change the way the organisation does business – changes that are either resisted completely – or result in inefficiencies despite assurances that these changes are aligned to ‘best practice’.
While the debate on how to define a successful implementation project is ongoing, Deloitte has found that an approach based on a clear business case – the cost / benefit analysis – works best. The business case is the foundation of a successful project of any nature and should be carefully and diligently compiled before the project is approved. A sound business case will provide the tool against which the degree of success or failure of the project can be measured. In essence – if expected benefits are not achieved, the project has failed and / or – if projected costs (and here we include project duration – as this has its own costs attached) are exceeded to an extent where the benefits are no longer viable – the project has failed.
However, because challenges facing the success of technology implementation projects are similar to those experienced with ERP implementations, we have had many opportunities over the last 10 to 15 years to learn how to address these challenges, issues and problems – and in some cases, avoid them altogether. It is critical therefore, to put these issues on the table as early as possible – in fact, in most cases, before the project is even approved – to ensure that you get the maximum benefits from your technology implementation and no ugly surprises regarding the cost.
Read the full article . . . . The key to implementing successful technology projects
Did you find this article interesting? If so, please comment and share with your network using the Share button below