As with any area within a business organization, corporate performance management (CPM) has its own set of complexities and characteristics that must be taken into account not only when choosing CPM software, but also when choosing the consulting firm that will implement that precise software.
Let us see in this article the parameters that should always be evaluated before selecting the consulting firm that will best be able to guide and support you in the set-up phase and throughout the process of customizing and maintaining the corporate performance management software you have chosen.
CPM software: 3 questions to select the consulting firm that is right for you
1. Executor or Partner?
The first question to ask is about the approach. Is an application consulting firm that is used to working as an “executor” required or a consulting firm that can play the role of “partner” for the company? There are big differences between the two options.
Often, companies think they have hired a “partner” and instead find themselves working with an “executor.”
Working with an “executor” means not questioning what has been done so far, not confronting the experience of other projects or best practices in both process and solution implementation. It means overdoing it with customizations, often unnecessary, resulting in entrenchment in the organizational and process changes that the company will undergo in the future. How do you identify an “executor” or “partner” during a selection process for implementing your CPM software?
Someone who will propose a blank sheet of paper for you to fill in with your model will probably be an “executor”; someone who, by contrast, will bring to you the experience of one or more processes, best practices, and critical issues that others have had before you, even challenging your current model, will probably be a “partner.”
2. A technical or functional consultant?
Setting up a corporate performance management solution is nothing complicated. Transforming a functional design to a technical model that reflects the features of the CPM software solution is a bit more elaborate.
The real complexity, however, is guiding the customer in making a functional choice that not only meets the needs of the business but also succeeds in reducing the risks of excessive maintenance effort, performance problems, and inadequate user experience.
Having the skills to be able to do this requires a profile with a mixed growth path between technical and functional skills. Does the consulting firm you are choosing have resources with these characteristics, or does it have distinct profiles between technical consultants and functional consultants?
3. People first: pay attention to the turnover rate
Many consulting firms have very high turnover rates.
In corporate performance management projects, where the right mix of functional and technical skills is extremely important, it can be a major risk to the success of the project.
How much is the indirect cost and inefficiency of starting a project with a team that loses resources along the way that will need to be replaced? How do you quantify the company’s loss due to the relationship that was formed and that has to be rebuilt from scratch?
A consulting firm that is unable to retain its talent means that it does not invest sufficiently in the quality of its delivery. What is the turnover of the consulting firm you are about to hire?
In conclusion, the quality of the consulting service is of paramount importance to the success of a CPM software implementation project. Choosing a partner goes beyond technical expertise; it should also be based on their experience, which creates added value from the outset.