Leadership Skills CFOs need for a Successful ERP Project
CFOs can have a major role in the success of an ERP implementation. I gained valuable experience during my first Epicor ERP implementation at a former company. As CFO, I was the project manager. Other CFOs may play more of an executive sponsorship role. Whatever the case, your skills are crucial for keeping the project on track. I wanted to address four points mentioned in an article I read in CFO about ERP implementations.
Tip 1: Understand the Benefits
Simply because a project is delivered on-time or on-budget should not constitute a success per se. Instead be aware of how the ERP system will improve your overall business process after the go-live. That is when the real “payback” occurs.
Tip 2: Prepare for the Dip
Typically businesses can expect a one to two month dip in performance following an implementation. Ideally you will have an in-house expert who can walk you through the inevitable learning curve associated with a new system. If that support is not enough then working with an outside implementation expert can make that transition smoother.
Tip 3: Budget for Post Go-Live Support
With a traditional implementation you may be on your own in terms of training. We recommend that our clients don’t go the traditional route and instead budget for additional training and maintenance of the system after installation.
Tip 4: Don’t Overload the ERP
An ERP system is basically akin to replacing the wiring in your house. Your house (your business operations) are already in place, but you are threading in a new element (ERP). Be careful about installing the bright, shiny features that might not enhance your business performance. Be sure to check against your existing metrics before you add on new features.
As CFO, you have a tremendous ability to affect the success of your company’s ERP project. Your leadership matters to keep your ERP implementation headed in the right direction.
Have you experienced the power to make or break an important ERP project? What do you wish you would have done differently?