Top 10 Reasons Why CPM Implementations Fail

Published on: 22 July 2022
Written by: Tridant

Once you have selected the Corporate Performance Management (CPM) software that best suits your business goals and objectives, you must follow a number of steps to ensure a smooth and effective implementation of the technology. Tridant has extensive experience implementing CPM technology for businesses across all industries and we understand the best strategies and methods that must be used to ensure a successful implementation. During our time implementing CPM technology, we have become aware of a number of key reasons as to why an implementation may fail.

The top 10 reasons why CPM implementations fail:

  1. Improper Scoping

Scoping issues can arise from incorrectly supplied information but also from omitted information. To avoid scoping problems, make sure to organise internally on requirements prior to meeting with vendors. The more detail and examples you can provide, the easier it will be for a solution architect to understand complexity and requirements. Experienced consultants should know what questions to ask, but Tridant’s requirements template can help highlight many key areas that should be discussed.

  1. Misalignment on Stakeholder Expectations

Sometimes the internal project team and other stakeholders may not be on the same page with their expectations of outcomes for the CPM solution. This is especially true if stakeholders change and new ones come in midway through the project. This can lead to friction and poor end-user adoption. It's best to interview all key stakeholders prior to starting a project and make sure all parties agree on the success criteria.

  1. Poor Project Management

Good project management is pivotal in most types of projects, especially for CPM projects. Every project will need a lead who can manage the scope, time, cost, deliver status updates to stakeholders, and manage project deviations. This should ideally not be one of the technical team members, as their time would best be spent developing the solution. To mitigate project management pitfalls, plan to have a project manager dedicated at least part-time to the project.

  1. Source Data Issues

Data issues typically derive from either availability of source data, cleanliness of source data, or completeness of source data. As part of the Tridant project prep checklist, we recommend to organise data samples for the scoping process as well as having full data sets ready for the project kick-off. This will prevent delays and ensure the right integration approach is selected. Most data issues are best resolved at the source or outside of the CPM.

  1. Too Much Change Too Soon

When embarking on a journey of substantial change, it is best done via strategic execution over multiple phases rather than all at once. Too much change can leave users feeling overwhelmed, inhibiting user adoption. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, make sure to include a vendor-suggested roadmap as part of your evaluation.

  1. Lack or Change of Executive Support

Support from leadership teams is critical to ensure success with a CPM transformation project. Executives should support their team with the initial business case, budget approval, and providing additional resources if required, acknowledging the additional effort that will be required beyond the team’s day job. A supportive leader can also help promote the use of the solution throughout the company, leading to a higher return on investment.

  1. Over Complicating the Model

Preventing model over-complication is a joint effort between the model builders and those providing requirements. Complications often arise from deviations from the scope that were not addressed in the initial model design and need to be subsequently added into the model.

Effective deviation management and decision-making processes from the project manager can help avoid unnecessary complications. Another common driver of over-complication is the insistence on maintaining the same inputs or interfaces from an Excel model, even when a solution architect may suggest a solution more fitting to the selected technology.

  1. Using CPM in Place of Other Tools

Just because a CPM solution can do something, doesn’t mean it should. Pushing back on requests that should be handled outside of the CPM solution is something a good implementation partner will do. A common mistake businesses make is trying to use the CPM system to behave like a data warehouse or like a transactional system. Listening to your implementation partner on best practices and guidance is something a good client will do.

  1. Unqualified Implementation Team

Technical implementation teams will typically have a blend of resources with skill sets ranging from very experienced solution architects to junior model builders. To ensure that your team has the ideal experience, request team profiles as part of the RFP response to assess the technical background and industry experience. Also, completing the evaluation process with time to spare between the selection and project kick-off will allow vendors more time to free up the best resources for your project.

  1. Fixed Price Engagements without Preparation

In general, fixed price projects are only appropriate when all finer details of requirements are known and complexity is low – this is usually not the case with CPM projects. For CPM projects, fixed price is typically requested when the business wants to reduce the risk of a project failure by exceeding the budget.

Unfortunately, the only thing a fixed price agreement achieves is ensuring that your implementation partner is incentivised to spend the least amount of time possible building out each requirement and reduces the ability to be flexible in achieving the best outcomes, which increases the risk to the business. Take time to understand the pricing models suggested by your implementation partner.

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