From poor project controls to inadequate organizational change management, ERP implementations are full of potential risks. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these risks are sometimes so obscure that it takes the discernment of an independent, uninvolved third party to uncover the threats beneath the surface.
That being said, the majority of ERP project managers do not conduct risk assessments throughout implementation. In fact, according to our 2013 ERP Report, only 3% of companies incorporate independent verification and validation (IV&V) services into their consulting budgets.
It is best practice to engage an independent third party to provide IV&V services throughout any large-scale IT implementation. IV&V is of value for both the private and public sector, and it is extensively used in government ERP projects.
Services provided in this assessment include identifying and addressing gaps, defects and quality issues as early in a project as possible. Consultants can verify that an organization’s implementation strategy adheres to its implementation plan, and they can validate that the ERP system, project deliverables and project results align with objectives and business requirements. Ideally, these services are performed by an independent entity that is not directly responsible for performing the activities being evaluated.
Following are several benefits of using an independent consulting firm for IV&V:
- Lower Cost – Compared to an ERP project without IV&V, an implementation with independent oversight will most likely cost less in the long term. When problems are identified early, they can be fixed before they become a financial burden.
- Improved Quality – IV&V focuses on assessing the quality and value of deliverables and project activities, and cutting those activities (if any) that are not providing business value.
- Higher Benefits Realization – A quantitative and qualitative assessment of a project’s methodology and results ensures that the project is on-track to realize the business benefits an organization expects.
- Reduced Management Strain – While independent consultants are busy identifying and solving problems, an organization’s management team is free to focus on strategic issues related to the implementation rather than lower-value technical problems.
The best partner for providing IV&V services is an independent consultant with technical and business competencies, a specialization in ERP systems and a team-based approach. An IV&V partner should also have solution-specific, hands-on experience and consistently leverage a proven methodology and toolset.
To learn more, watch our on-demand webinar, The Importance of Independent Verification and Validation.