As executive teams are becoming aware of how data visualisations impact decision making, ERP vendors are using dashboard capability as a key selling point. However, a disappointingly high number of ERP implementations don’t live up to the sales hype.

Every organisation is different, and unless the chosen solution is industry specific, it’s unlikely it will meet the management information requirements ‘out of the box’. While storing data in one place and providing enterprise wide visibility are inherent in an ERP solution, presenting this information to support decision making is a non-trivial exercise.

During implementation, the day to transactional requirements needed to keep the organisation functioning must take priority, so all too often, overrun in this aspect means corners being cut with regards to information delivery.

If the scale of your implementation cannot justify a professional project manager, then one approach is to request the vendor segment the project into two statements of work each with its own UAT (User acceptance test) phase. One for implementation and one for information delivery. This will ensure any cost/time overruns on implementation are contained and will not impact on the information delivery aspect.

This approach has the added benefit that those most impacted by the changes to day to day transaction processing will focus on implementation and those with the information requirements will focus on information delivery.

While both transactional and information UATs will normally focus on whether the system is adequately replacing and/or improving on what was there previously, for the Information Delivery UAT a key test is what insights are being delivered that I wasn’t getting previously.