I tend to be an optimist. In my personal life, I always anticipate that tasks can be accomplished quickly or that traffic won’t be a problem (even if it’s rush hour). But when it comes to business I’m the opposite. I want worst case scenarios, overestimates of time and cost, and conservative estimates on everything else. Surprises are not acceptable when it comes to the risks of business. Resource planning and commitment to a project is no exception.

When you are planning an ERP project or full business transformation, a lot of time is spent talking about how it will impact the bottom line both short and long term, as well as ROI. Just as much time should be allocated to planning for the involvement and time commitment of executives and key project resources. Sometimes an in-house project manager is assigned. This person will put aside their regular duties and job description for a given amount of time to focus solely on the project and its successful outcome. But assigning someone full time in-house is not always done. Instead, it may also be expected that a team member will simply add to their current role and job responsibilities, or at best, split their time 50-50 for this responsibility.

This points to a bigger concern that must be addressed. Just how many resources in-house will an ERP or business transformation project take? Even with professional consulting services to maximize the success of your project, in-house involvement is critical.

The bottom line is that these projects require a serious commitment of key resource time and active executive involvement. In fact, executive leadership is often the difference between success and failure. Over the next few weeks, I will cover some of these key needs and areas of involvement within a company and will discuss why they’re important. These topics will include the roles of executive leadership, internal project leadership, department managers, and subject matter experts within the company. We’ll discuss why and how they are needed to drive success and their time commitment expectations. I will also touch on how that can impact their current roles within the company.

So stay tuned. This is key information that you can utilize in order to plan for success. This is not the time to underestimate the need and commitment from your team. If you want to be an optimist in a business transformation project, then plan for the worst (in time and resource commitment at least) to realistically expect that successful outcome.

Dennis Reader, PMP, ITIL, CSM

Dennis brings his ERP and project management expertise to every project. He delivers value to clients across a variety of business verticals including HR, Finance, Operations, eCommerce, Marketing, Web, and Order Management. He was recognized as PMO top performer of 2014 for his ability to direct effective teams that consistently meet or exceed project goals and objectives.