3. The perils of entering unchartered territory…
To fully leverage the benefits of your ERP project, you need a project charter.
Many companies start projects without fully understanding what they want to get out of them. This often leads to situations where you are throwing money at your project without having any clear strategic aim. Maybe only one department is driving the change or there isn’t strong enough (or any) cross-departmental consensus for - or understanding of - the motives for the project.
A project charter will encourage all your organisation’s department leads to agree how the project will roll out and its desired outcomes. It will also allow your company to identify if this is one of those universally dreaded project types: a ‘pet’ or ‘panic’ project. The bane of many a good company’s existence, these are to be widely avoided.
A charter will ensure you are documenting the project benefits and deliverables along the lifecycle of the project. ERP projects have longevity: ultimate delivery can take a long time, meaning that much can happen along the way. Your MD may retire, for example, and an incoming MD may decide to pull the project. If you can point to the value added since the outset, you will strengthen your case for seeing the project through – or at the very least appreciate the benefit gleaned so far.
Imagine, for example, the situation right now for a tourism or leisure business that embarked on an ERP project two or three years ago. The recent Covid epidemic has probably wreaked significant impact on progress. If you have a charter in place, you could at least confirm the deliverables achieved or point to the success of the pre-pandemic stages of your project. Above all, you could demonstrate that, from the outset, the project had real substance and (more importantly) buy in from your business team regarding aims, budget and targeted outcome. In short, it wasn’t just another corporate white elephant.
Many projects are deemed failures when in fact they aren’t. Your charter will enable you (and those you answer to) to appreciate all the positive benefits gained along the way – even if your project fails to reach its original final destination.
Let us help you get a robust and effective charter in place; contact us now.