Introducing new systems should foster improved processes, change lines of command and in some cases eliminate the need for certain roles. Project organisations must carry a range of skill sets to cope with the changes that implementing an EPM system brings. Outwith the PMO, this normally means using external consulting resources to design, build and support new systems.
But once the project’s budget has been burned, how often do organisations find that they are in no position to run the system independently? With lack of knowledge, confidence – or time – to maintain systems effectively, organisations can fall into the consulting trap.
Does this scenario sound familiar?
‘Best of breed’ consultants should always be open and transparent with customers. A knowledge acquisition strategy should be built into the implementation of an EPM project for the following key reasons:
- Encourage customers to confront and challenge requirements
- Essential for early adoption and buy-in to the new system
- Adopt full ownership of the system
A new implementation is an opportunity to re-set old attitudes and processes. During project planning an opportunity arises to effectively program knowledge acquisition into the core tasks of the project team.
Too often, little thought is given on how to prepare Administrators and End Users for taking ownership of the system. This leads to a gap in understanding the rationale and thought processes that underpins the solution.
This knowledge is extremely valuable when responding to requirements further down the line – the Blueprint or High Level Design documents are not guaranteed to provide such information.
A definitive set of End User documentation and guidance should be built in co-operation with the implementation partner, not as an after-thought but as a well planned and executed deliverable during the project phases.
Knowledgeable users are empowered to seek maximum value from their Enterprise Performance Management portfolio which is positive for the entire EPM ecosystem – users, vendors and consultants alike.
Customers should insist on challenging implementation consultants to come up with an effective strategy for knowledge acquisition – investing in knowledge during the project can ensure that companies are self-sufficient going forward.
Avoid the consulting trap!