ERP Upgrade – Getting the Green Light

Hi There…

So you have brainstormed with the team and agreed on your areas of weakness, where the threats are and as a result have strong agreement that to move forward with an upgrade would be a REALLY good idea…

However, the guy that signs the check is not in the room…

The next step for me was to write a detailed – Problem – Solution and Financial Impact document.

This document will provide you with a couple of things…

  • First – It really provides you with clarity and an assurance that you are doing the right thing…
  • Second – It documents in detail those critical business and systems issues for future reference.

One problem – the document was for me and other geeks… What executive would read 10 pages of techno goop – other than me and maybe you?… therein lies the problem… sometimes the boss wants the gory detail but usually he / she wants the “Executive Overview”.

Consequently you have to be prepared to provide BOTH.

So you have the gory details – Now write an Executive Overview – same format as the detail doc EXCEPT¬† that it’s on ONE PAGE. Also – Include a rough cut timeline – phase plan – Top level, but gives readers an idea of what comes first, second and third and a general idea of how long the project is going to take. BE conservative here. we know how these projects go, right?

If you think it will take you 2 months – it will probably take 4….

Oh, and on the financial impact part, be sure to state monthly costs (leases / financed equipment), length of commitment and total cost.

So

  • State your problem(s)
  • Your solution(s)
  • A statement of financial impact
  • And a time line

Next, I would plan to discuss the Implementation Plan Executive Overview at a regularly scheduled managers meeting, board meeting, whatever, HOWEVER,¬† send it out a day early, give people time to digest it. If you have “planted seeds” early, and team members have a chance to review, there might not be a lot to discuss.

That’s how it usually works for me…

As a matter of fact, I sent out the Executive Overview the night before our meeting, and on the way out of the office I stopped by the Bosses office to say goodnight. The first thing he said to me was, “Well it looks like we have put off the ERP upgrade long enough, go ahead and buy the hardware” – first phase of my plan!

Wow – that was almost effortless… Except that it had taken months of discussion with VARs and teammates, drafting and redrafting the plan, feedback and just thinking it through.

Anyway – it has worked for me on many occasions – hope it provides you with some ideas.

Please be advised that I just updated this site and I will continue to work on it. I MIGHT have lost you as a feed reader subscriber, so if you feel so inclined

Let me know what you think – drop a comment below…

Please re subscribe – spread the word about ERP Roadmap.

Happy Trails – Until next time.

Rick