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Does your ERP need a climbing route? Part Two

Does your ERP need a climbing route? Part Two

As I discussed in Part One of this piece, whether you’re upgrading your ERP, moving to a hybrid solution or embarking on a total transition to the Cloud, careful planning is essential if you are ever going to reach the summit of ERP perfection.

So while we have always recommend the creation of a roadmap in order to ensure that the mistakes of the past aren’t repeated, I think it’s equally fair to think of your journey as a challenging ascent that demands a mountain-climber’s meticulous approach to route planning.

Last time out we had already picked up sherpas and established base camp. So perhaps it’s time to start planning a route up that mountain.

Planning Your Ascent As a Series of Camps

You’ve got a pretty big mountain to climb. So the peak is almost certainly obscured by clouds from where you’re standing in base camp. That’s OK though: every good roadmap or climbing route needs to have short-, medium-, and long-term goals.

Ideally, your first objective should be to start climbing what you can see in front of you, by sweating the assets that you’ve already spent so much time and money on.

After all, the chances are that you have never really gotten the best from your current solution. That might mean having licences for modules that you haven’t yet utilised, or functionality that came with the last upgrade that you have yet to get around to adopting.

In our experience the climb proper can often start with a fairly enjoyable stroll through the foothills, picking up easy wins as you go along. Even if the move to a SaaS solution seems inevitable, a well-planned climbing route might show that this challenge is years away from becoming strictly necessary. So why not enjoy making easy progress for a while?

Even if ageing infrastructure is a primary concern, the IaaS offering means that moving your on-premise solution to a hosted one can ultimately be relatively quick and effortless.

Camp One: Time To Review Your Progress So far

Congratulations, you have now driven best value from your expensively acquired assets. So there’s nothing wrong with stopping to admire the view for a minute.

After all, the climb so far hasn’t been too hard, but it may have taken you a lot higher than you expected it to.

For example, HR might feel that they’ve now achieved all of their objectives and be quite happy to stick a flag in the ground and start celebrating with the sherpas. Alternatively, Finance might still want to make it to the cloud in the next big push.

If this is the case, maybe a co-existence model needs to be discussed with all of your key stakeholders, through a hybrid solution that leaves HR in their happy place but allows Finance to press on towards the Cloud?

The Final Push: Into The Cloud and Towards Peak Performance

Perhaps you only need to take one or two sets of stakeholders towards the cloud, or maybe HR has decided that if others are going to the Cloud then they want to be part of that glorious selfie at the summit.

Either way, getting the last lap right requires you to take stock of where you are through a carefully planned programme of stakeholder engagement, communications, planning and preparation.

Only by doing so again at this stage – with lots of climbing already behind you – can you ensure that the Cloud solution you are now striving for will meet the needs of your people as well as your organisational goals.

That’s because neither roadmaps nor climbing routes should ever be carved in stone from the outset. Your climbing partners may re-appraise their needs and ambitions as you go along, and you need to stand ready to change the route if the landscape or the climate changes.

Yet however the route or your ambitions evolve along the climb, if you make sure that your chosen sherpas always know where you and your key stakeholders want to get to, you have a much better chance of being hailed a hero when you finally decide to plant that flag at the top.

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