Outsourcing CPM Implementation – Best Practices to ensure a successful Implementation
Without question, your business will benefit from improved data integrity, reduced manual processing and the wonderful, enhanced business analytics delivered by a solid Corporate Performance Management (CPM) solution.
Now, the big question – should the implementation be outsourced?
Recognize the risks
Resource availability – Does your team have the bandwidth to successfully manage a CPM implementation project?
Technical expertise – Although your subject matter experts are top-notch, can they confidently align CPM functionality with business needs?
Project management experience – documenting tasks and scheduling meetings is nice. Supporting user adoption and managing change throughout the implementation is critical to success.
Outsourced or not, any change initiative requires your team to endure ‘growth pains’ related to breaking habits and learning new functionality (without reducing quality of service to stakeholders!) Actively engaged leadership is critical to success!
Risks addressed and focused on success?
Reality is, many organizations simply do not have the ability to address all risks related to successfully implementing a CPM solution without help. Requirements gathering, data integration, report development, process alignment and staff training can all be time consuming and daunting tasks. In many cases, external support is a strong option to CPM implementation risk mitigation. Furthermore, CPM consultants live and breathe solution functionality. These skillful experts can help avoid common pitfalls, such as:
- Building the solution for the current situation and not considering scalability.
- Implementing the solution to 80% complete but failing with the remainder due to lack of best practices or knowledge of certain features in the solution.
- Overcomplicating the solution.
- Lack of understanding of what pieces of the transformation should be automated.
Here are a few CPM implementation best practices to consider:
- Define your project scope and ensure CPM functionality is aligned.
- Define measurable ways of confirming ROI prior to project launch.
- Define Power Users and End Users and set expectations.
- Ensure your internal implementation team is given time to work on project tasks.
- Ensure Leadership is actively engaged, supportive and reinforcing expectations.
- Ensure end users are actively contributing and engaged. (IE. Contributing to requirements discussions, defining current pain points, new process documentation and implementation, training, test case development, participating in User Acceptance Testing (UAT))
- Active, consistent communication for the duration of the project.
- Consistent project progress reporting.
By Robert Lee, Senior Consultant, Professional Services