In this final post we look at the end, what happens once the decision is made and the implementation begins.

This is the pointy end and where costs can mount up very quickly. Your CIO, CEO and CFO will be very keen to hear how this will be managed and controlled and what the potential budget and disruption impact might be and, of course, any ongoing costs.

From time to time, when looking at ROI, we begin at the end – learning first about the all-important implementation and ongoing costs. Software acquisition budgets and implementation/maintenance budgets often live in different buckets, so the end is actually not a bad place to start the conversation.

Factors like days to full productive use inevitably add to the daily cost and internal resource requirements of an implementation team, and will significantly impact the total cost of a change control project. As with any technology implementation, it’s a trap not to have a full and clear understanding of all such costs before you fully commit to a project.

Fortunately, when purchasing out-of-the-box type software, implementation cost is one of the easiest costs to calculate when you’re projecting ROI.

It’s as simple as consulting/training days x consultant daily rate + travel or accommodation expenses.

For those who select Rev-Trac, it can be put to valuable use in just two weeks, even on a large and complex landscape. A one or two person internal team can then take what the expert consultants have done and have the software fully productive within a few months.

If one is having to compare this with a “low cost” license software for example, the back end calculation can have quite a sting to it when 6 months later the heavy consulting overhead is becoming a burden.

Ease of Use

Once installed, there is the cost of administration and the impact on users (another cost).

SAP user organizations looking at change control solutions always want to know how easy the software will be to use and administer (or should anyway). Many change teams interact with the technology daily, so it’s important to judge how intuitive it is and how familiar the team are with the GUI, set up and configuration needs. Familiarity goes a very long way toward ensuring IT staff and business user acceptance of any software product.

Two key issues with ease of use are a) time and difficulty of user training, and b) whether users are likely to look for and use work arounds (increasing risk). If your new change control solution isn’t easier for both business and IT staff, they won’t want to use it. That’s a real problem for governance.

Ease of use sounds like a “soft” ROI – how can you actually measure that kind of value? But three important areas can help you link ease of use to “hard” ROI numbers:

  1. Time savings – Test execution, transports, documentation, enforcement, etc.
  2. Repeatability – How many manual steps would you need to execute a procedure
  3. Traceability – Automated, enforced documentation across the board greatly reduces time to support audits

It takes judgement to sort out user impact and administration costs but understanding their relationships can strengthen your business case quite a lot.

Implementation cost and time to productive use are equally important.

Projecting an accurate ROI tells you what results you will see.

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