DiscussionAfter an organization has selected an ERP system, that’s when the fun begins. By “fun” I mean roughly 14 to 19 months of implementation. This is anything but fun when you’ve been told by your ERP vendor that implementation would be completed in less than ten months. According to our 2015 ERP Report, most ERP implementations – including those in the public sector – run over-schedule by 25-percent or more. While this statistic is interesting, it isn’t something you want to rely on when explaining to your boss why implementation is taking longer than expected. One way to set realistic expectations for your public sector ERP implementation is to hire independent verification and validation (IV&V) experts. An IV&V expert can represent the organization and serve as liaisons between the organization and its implementation partner.  If brought in before implementation, the IV&V expert can perform a full range of activities, including:

  • Strategic planning
  • Monitoring of all project metrics (including budgets, timelines, KPIs, etc.)
  • Vendor contract adherence
  • Vendor / contractor oversight
  • Oversight of specific project components (including business process management and improvement, organizational change management, training and staffing)
  • Leadership and governance analysis
  • Organizational analysis
  • Data planning, cleansing and migration oversight
  • Auditing and regulatory compliance monitoring
  • Go-live preparation, planning and monitoring
  • Risk analysis
  • Post deployment usage and benefits realization assessment

My favorite activity that IV&V experts perform is what I informally refer to as, “calling shenanigans.”  Because IV&V experts’ jobs are to comb through every project plan, budget, timeline, KPI and deliverable, they are adept at spotting areas that are poorly planned, organized or executed. When a problem area is spotted, the IV&V experts report to the organization and develop resolution steps with the implementation partner. Once these steps are taken, the quality of work greatly improves. When dealing with public funds, no one wants to tell to their constituency that an ERP implementation failed and that it could have been prevented simply by adding an extra layer of oversight. IV&V experts are an added layer of security that can ensure your ERP implementation is completed on time and on budget.

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