From my earlier post (Post 1), we talked about what EPM is and how it can help organizations. This post will focus on starting the process to determine what the organizational needs are. This is the first step in determining which applications to select and implement. If at all possible, do not buy your new solution without first vetting what you need! I realize this is not always possible, but I have seen it multiple times where companies try to fit round pegs into square holes. If you have already selected a new application, or are upgrading an existing application, you still need to focus on your needs – then determine how the application can, or in some cases, cannot meet your needs.
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Here is where I will make a suggestion for finding an implementation partner to assist in this process. Some companies perform software selections and implementations frequently and know how to identify their needs and vet the potential solutions and tools. Some companies, not so much. Bottom line – “projects” are just that and many companies perform them rarely and only when they have to. They typically don’t have project staff on hand, nor keep up to date on the latest innovations. However, this is what consulting firms do – help identify requirements and assist with the right tools to meet their customer needs. They can help navigate project pitfalls and traps as well as assisting with timelines to ensure the ball keeps rolling.
There is always a reason to consider implementing a new solution or application. You are either being reactive to an existing need that requires attention, usually IMMEDIATELY, or you are being proactive based on an existing long term roadmap or you see the immediate need coming. The organization that is being proactive has a higher probability of a smooth project and better success because they are not being “rushed” to fix an existing problem. The main point here is to plan ahead for what you will need. It is much easier to vet solutions and create realistic timelines when there is not an immediate need.
In my next post, we will cover some of the structure you need to put around your requirements gathering and then we will get into the actual applications.