Tis the Season for Giving…. But Don’t Give Up the Ship!

Are you already feeling that warm and fuzzy holiday cheer? If you are chest deep in an ERP implementation, visions of sugar plums are probably not dancing in your head just yet. Before you start thinking of the spiked eggnog at the company party as your only way of escaping your worries about the project’s mounting costs- consider these 7 steps as a healthier alternative to ensuring that your ERP implementation does not bust your project balance.

1.  Avoid Impulse Buys– The best way to not spend is to make sure that impulsive buys don’t happen. Wrap scope control as tightly as possible. Create a process that requires justification and top level approval for even the smallest changes in the program.

2.  Establish a Productivity Plan– Avoid paying a premium by carefully planning to utilize offshore, lower rate or internal talent to man the hours required for completing the project.

3.  Use Local Sources– Work with your System Integrator (SI) to cultivate the local 2nd and 3rd tier outsource providers to supplement staffing if required. There are huge dividends long after the project is over. It will lower the hourly rate for development, remove any motivation of your SI to increase scope for increased profits, and build a local resource that you can use long after your SI is not necessary.

4.  Plan a Surge Weekend- Is your go-live date starting to look unattainable? If the project is off course on its delivery schedule, plan a surge weekend. Surge weekends are when the entire project team commits to coming in and working during a weekend. Surges should be planned well in advance and only implemented when truly necessary. When utilized effectively, surge weekends can shave 1 or 2 weeks of work off projected schedules. They also make you very popular at work!

5.  Cap SI Management Pay- When was the last time a manager at your company got paid for more than 40 hours in a week? Get an agreement in writing from your SI to reasonably cap their billable hours.

6.  Vet SI Talent Aggressively- You know the rule, 80% of the work gets done by 20% of the people. Imagine if you could double the number of 20%’ers you have! You have the flexibility with your SI to be picky and remove those that are not at the top of their class… use it.

7.  Build and Educate Your Own Power Teams– Are you looking for that perfect holiday gift to give your project team? How about a couple of weeks of training? That is often the difference between the “expert” you are paying top dollar for and your own internal team. Create space in your schedule to train your “A” players. This won’t change the total number of hours required to get the job done, but it will change the cost profile of each hour.

Here’s to Happy Holidays and a lower cost New Year!

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