Recently I was approached by a senior member of a large, multi-faceted organization to assist in re-looking at their Project Management, Budgets, Forecasting and Financial reporting. This large organization was currently preparing their management reports in Excel. This is a common problem, where large ERP systems are not flexible to dynamically report across disciplines using slice and dice technology, forecasting algorithms, and EIS reporting visuals. So it’s back to Excel and PowerPoint for management presentations.
In a recent survey, Gartner reported that managers spend an average of 61% of their time managing data. Whether this includes extended conference calls or not, it is a huge chunk of money every month to produce a static view of KPA’s of the business. Quite archaic. Nevertheless, here we are in 2018, archaically managing in a bureaucracy scared to challenge the status quo. And so the insidious cycle continues, increasing stress levels and decreasing productivity, while making management reporting somewhat of a joke.
The same client has spent millions on trying to implement an ERP (now there’s a misnomer!) solution with no sign of implementation in sight. The decision was made. That would solve all problems. Any other software investments were frozen.
Framing is essential in decision-making. Understanding how financial software and accounting works helps a lot as well. My proposal to resolve this client’s Resource Planning and Project Management Reporting and Control needs was completed in two weeks. Implementation risk is virtually zero. For senior management it would be weeks if not days to going live. Set-up is easy, and reporting and control dynamic and brilliant! The cost of this software? Under $10,000 a year. Savings? Huge! Productivity? Resource planning and utilization will now be totally manageable from all perspectives: per division, per project manager, per job type, per project, per person. Manager productivity will be dramatically improved as the system is dynamic, offering historical comparison and forecasts. With this system, information is instantaneously available increasing control and accuracy. All five strategic criteria were met.
This is just one way stagnation can be turned into a positive learning environment with a feedback system that allows for good decision-making.