How to Get “Buy In” On Upgrading Your ERP System

In my last post I discussed upgrading your system and specifically where to start..

Establishing a simple scope objective must be done very early. Understand the limits of your project…

BUT – there is really an earlier step than that. While you THINK you know what the scope of the project is. You really (if you are IT) know it more from the System side. But the flip side to that coin is the BUSINESS side.

I have discussed the concept of Justification Drivers in the past, but it’s worth revisiting… Business and System issues both drive a business system investiment and when push comes to shove, the geeks talk about the system and everybody else talks about business issues. So guess what?

If you are IT, you HAD BETTER get the Business Drivers from all other affected areas of the organization into the conversation, AND it’s going to take more time that you think. Try to push the initiative too hard and others will push back! NOT GOOD.

Here’s the approach that I use having been through this many times. While my systems guy and I worked the systems side of the upgrade and knew that it had to happen; key hardware compnents were starting to fail at an accelerated rate, I decided that I would pull the management team into a meeting for a brainstorming session.

I wrote “IS Issues ” in the middle of a big white board and then started going around the table until we ran out of problems and issues …kind of like spokes on a wheel… idea, linked to ideas where appropriate. NO BAD IDEAS and it looked like this when we got done…

IS Issues Rough 02.jpg

We then identified and agreed on the top 5 most critical issues. I went back to my desk and created a more presentable version of the mindmap using Mind Manager (Great brainstorming software) and it came out looking like this…

IS Issues MindMap 2010.jpeg

By going through this exercise I not only had buy in from key players, I also had firm agreement on the System and Business Drivers that mattered most to the team.

In my next post I am going to cover how I sold it to the boss.

Until next time – Rick

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One Response to “How to Get “Buy In” On Upgrading Your ERP System”
  1. Great post Rick. Regular maintenance keeps a system going only so long but ultimately there is no escaping an upgrade. Good idea on bringing the organization along to understand the need for an investment. Looking forward to next week!

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