“Executive Management wants to know how the ERP replacement is going to impact our bottom/top line. When will we be ready to provide the numbers?” Pressures on, the project has been lingering for months, management is getting squirrelly not hearing and seeing any results from months of work, they drop the gauntlet and tell you they want an update next week.
It’s game time! And all of a sudden everyone pulls back together as a team to prepare for a crucial meeting with executive management because everyone knows if they don’t show progress it could be job threatening or at least they could be shifted to a different position.
Fact is, you have enough good information at this point but it’s tainted with emotions and personal views. It’s a matter of objectively looking at what has been reviewed, how it works to benefit the company (not an individual or department) and putting it in a format that describes the processes that will be effected and the impact those changes and/or improved processes will have on the company. Gosh, if it was only as easy as this sounds.
So what do you present at the executive meeting? It’s time to start preparing the executives for the whole truth and nothing but the truth…this project won’t get us all the way to where we want to go. Or at least at a reasonable price and in a time table that’s shorter than your retirement date. Stay away from the “80% fit” and “Best Practices” conversation when discussing software. As mentioned in earlier posts, these are software vendor invented terms that are meaningless in a real selection and comparison. Present the facts as they are:
- We’ve reviewed all the major processes and compared software to process.
- We’ve identified what makes our company unique and how it does or doesn’t fit into the software we’re reviewing.
- These are the gaps that we’re working through (or have worked through) with each of the vendors.
- This is what we gain with a new system, this is what we lose with a new system.
- Here’s the new time frame we developed to get into a new system regardless of vendor.
- Here’s the best cost estimate we have at this time with each of the remaining vendors.
At this point you can feel the boiling point rising in the room and you’re feeling more like a pressure cooker than a software selection team member.
Sometimes the truth hurts but there’s light at the end of the tunnel and no, it’s not a train coming at you.