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What can CIOs do to ensure that ERP delivers recognizable business benefits?


What can CIOs do to ensure that ERP delivers recognizable business benefits?

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CIOs need to fully understand and appreciate the saying

“What gets measured, gets done !!”

So, first and foremost the CIOs should have a list of business objectives for the ERP and measurement criteria for each of the objectives. For example, increase the inventory turns from the existing 3 to 6 or the Service SLAs etc. Once the objective and the measurement is clearly defined, CIOs can have their team work towards achieving the stated objectives and make sure that the ERP delivers the recognizable business benefits.

Some of the things that the CIOs can do to ensure that ERP delivers recognizable business benefits are:

  • CIOs should work to define the Clarity on final scope, budgetary limits, timelines, stakeholders, Methodology and exit criteria in case of failure
  • CIOs should participate along with the Key stakeholders (Department heads, Key Suppliers, Major Customers) and ERP consulting partner in the workshop to identify the best fit ERP for their organization

The parameters to be evaluated and worked upon would be Promised Benefits (Short Term/Long Term), Cost, Tenure of Implementation, Staged Deliverables, Scalability, Security and Ease of Use

  • CIOs should make sure that the ERP that is chosen can cater to majority of the requirements (If not fully) of the organization.
  • CIOs should be aware that an ERP implementation could require TRANSFORMATION with People, Processes and technology.

Instead of attending the issues with them in guerrilla style post implementation,

the journey/planning of orientation to absorb the ERP into the people
processes should begin and happen parallel to the implementation.

  • CIOs own commitment not only with respect to investment (money) but also with respect to spending time reviewing the ERP project and being up to date with the status of the ERP project. Setting the expectations right and putting the measurement /accountability matrix in place.
  • CIOs should ascertain that the ERP fits in with his company’s road map and that it can take care of the growth and the future requirements of the organization
  • CIOs should focus on the core strengths of the ERP that is being implemented and have it solve their most critical issues. Rather than focusing on some trivial exceptions which could be taken care with minimal customization
  • CIOs should ensure that the data warehousing & the Business Intelligence requirement is addressed.

“Right Person – Right Time – Right information”

  • CIOs should determine that the key users have enough time to focus on ERP implementation rather than continue to fire fight their daily operations. Arrange additional resources (users) to take care of at least 50% of the regular work load of the key users, so that key users can be fully involved with ERP implementation and extract the best business benefits from the ERP. In order words, he should plan the back-fill for the valuable allocation of the key resources to the project. This cost of backfill should be accounted to the ERP Project
  • CIOs should guarantee that their key users and end users are fully & properly trained and that they can continue to operate and support ERP once the consultants/contractors leave