Getting the most from your investment into a Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution heavily relies on a successful platform implementation. While a lacklustre implementation limits the platform’s true scope and utilization, it also fails to inspire user adoption due to potential gaps in product training, improper or incomplete template, report, and process design, and inefficient user on-boarding processes. Organizations sometimes question whether or not they need outside support to help them deliver a CPM project. But with so much riding on successful implementation, it is critical to evaluate whether your organization has the skillsets and resources required to ensure project success or if you need to engage an external implementation partner for additional guidance and support, and to fill any resource gaps that you may encounter.
Here are some important factors for organizations to consider in order to make an informed choice:
Lack of Product Knowledge
Based on product demos and other pre-sale sessions, customers can envision how the selected CPM platform can help them with their financial processes. However, when the implementation time comes, where those theoretical observations require practical application, in-house implementation usually suffers due to lack of in-depth product knowledge. This is where implementation partners shine, offering compressive product knowledge gained through multiple previous projects and ability to transform the CPM platform based on client’s financial processes requirements and past situations working with other clients.
CPM implementation projects involve resources from multiple departments including finance and IT. It is often observed that with the workload of the IT department, they either have to pause some of their on-going projects or juggle multiple projects at once to accommodate a CPM implementation project. Similarly, finance departments need to free-up resources, not just to complete the requirements gathering, process mapping, and data source identification and cleansing, but also to design and implement all the required templates, reports, and workflows designed to produce efficiencies, control, and security. In either scenario, the implementation project could potentially suffer from constant delays due to limited availability of resources. External implementation partners do not come with such burden. Their priority is to complete the project on time and on budget. They allocate resources with appropriate skill-sets who are dedicated resources to the project supporting and focusing customer efforts where they are most useful – in making decisions on how the new platform can provide optimal impact within the business.
There are inherent risks involved with the implementation of any technology solution. Whether it is a delay in delivery due to evolving scope or facing a technical hurdle, having an external implementation partner mitigates such risks. The implementation partners are highly trained in the selected platforms and, with their vast experience in implementation, they are often in a better position to handle any technically complex project needs.
There are several top-notch CPM platforms available today that an organization can purchase, but if end users are not adopting the platform to operate their financial processes then even the best product won’t be able to fulfill their needs. With most new technology solutions, the common notion for internal users is to resist it. External implementation partners are well equipped to handle user on-boarding processes for a smooth transition from legacy system to the selected CPM platform. Implementation partners can conduct product training sessions to create awareness and offer documentation for easier transition. With the product knowledge they possess, and training and knowledge transfer process they employ, external partners are able to facilitate broad user adoption and on-going support to ensure end users quickly become comfortable and self-sufficient in the new CPM platform.