The consultants did their research very well. They came and delivered a deep analysis of the situation with very clear and concise recommendations. I am happy to hear that they recognized the upper management’s hard work and positive results. They worked hard and deserve the credit.
I believe we were on the same page as they were as far as process. We knew that project management was slacking a bit and they thought that we needed more controls and planning to keep projects from going over budget (project creep). I was taken aback by the fact that 2/3 of all projects fail due to bad change/project management. That is a high number and we need to make sure we do not fall on the bad side of that statistic. Management of a project affects all aspects and should be a main focal point when fine tuning this process.
The one thing that I would be cautious with is their recommendation to hire “shadow” employees. It is a hard pill to swallow and though it should be looked into to make sure the ROI is worth it, it seems a bit excessive. The numbers they mentioned were that a person would need 20% of their normal time dedicated to the implementation of the project which would mean that we would require 120% of total time. That is 8 hrs. extra a week or 1.6 hrs. each day. I understand people need to have a life work balance but asking key individuals to work a bit extra through a transition period, in my opinion, is not asking for too much.
Training is an integral part of any change. We will have many employee types affected by the new ERP system: production, finance & sales. They will each need to understand new functions as well as learning old ones in the new ERP system. This takes time and money. We seem to have fallen short according to them. I would have to agree considering the complexity of the change and the feed back from employees. We need to ensure that we heed their advice about making sure training has enough budgeted, we do not want to be left with no more money and too many people lost on how to do their jobs. They mentioned $61 million or around 17% of the total budget. Of course these figures will be vetted by our finance team but I agree with their idea of emphasizing training to shorten the “shock” of adapting to an ERP system. Getting back to our productivity number and then surpassing as quickly as possible will be worth the money invested.