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Benefits of an Agile Approach to ERP and CRM Evaluation

There are a number of reasons that an organisation may decide to upgrade their business systems. However, the move to a new solution can be time consuming and disruptive, so it is important to be able to measure the cost vs the benefit before committing to the organisational change and the financial investment that will be required.

If you are about to embark on a major ERP or CRM System Upgrade, you may want to consider an Agile Approach versus a Traditional Approach to your Evaluation process.

The Traditional Approach for an ERP or CRM Project usually begins with a Feasibility Phase.

We facilitate a discussion to understand the current business dynamics and ecosystems and the pain points that the company is hoping to address. Once we have a very clear view of the key drivers and business priorities we can then delve deeper into how we can help them moving forward.

The Feasibility Phase involves comprehensive analysis and a full investigation into the key drivers for the project. This can be lengthy process and cost the organisation tens of thousands of dollars.

However, there is an easier and faster way to decide whether the change in systems and investment in a new ERP or CRM is beneficial and actually needed by the business.

Consider an Agile Evaluation Approach

CMC’s approach is based on identifying what the real problem is that the company needs to address (or is trying to solve) and then on defining the scope of requirements before embarking on an expensive evaluation process.

6 Key Questions

There are 6 Key Questions that need to be answered before an organisation spends time and money on an extensive Evaluation Process.

  1. What is the business vision and strategy for the company?
  2. Why does the organisation believe they need a new ERP or CRM system?
  3. Where will the new ERP or CRM add the most value to the organisation? Is there a Business Case?
  4. Who is going to be the Project Sponsor and which business users will be involved and impacted?
  5. When will be the right time to begin the ERP or CRM Evaluation and Implementation?
  6. How will the project and budget be effectively controlled and managed?

Begin with an Executive Engagement and Planning Session

CMC recommends a step by step approach with “measurable steps” to support the decision-making process. We begin all our ERP and CRM Evaluation Projects with an Executive Engagement and Planning Session.

It is imperative to understand the current business dynamics and the pain points that the company is hoping to address. Once we have a very clear view of the key drivers and business priorities, we can define the focus of the evaluation and understand what areas need to be included in scope.

This activity requires a minimal investment of time and money and provides massive value for the Business Sponsor or the Board in terms of visibility, justification, and approach.

Some companies have already defined their business problem, whilst others need guidance and support to do this.
Every situation is unique and requires expertise and insight into the direction of the business and the organisations readiness for change

Michelle Harvey - DirectorCombined Management Consultants