ERM-GRC: Why Speed of Implementation Matters
Businesses that decide to invest in an ERM-GRC risk management solution often fail at implementation. Why?
There are many reasons, including:
- Setup of the software goes over budget
- There’s no cross-functional buy-in
- Implementation costs exceed projections
- Go-live deadlines slip
- The IT team loses momentum and enthusiasm for the project
In their defense, technical teams ensure that their software meets the exact specifications of their current workflows and processes. Unfortunately, that can lead to an overextended implementation timeframe.
Potential pain points with software implementation
When successfully implementing any enterprise software solution there’s always the possibility of pain points. Unfortunately, a failed implementation is rarely recognized before a substantial amount of time, energy and resources have been invested into the project.
When implementing new software, sometimes there are overages. Even with stakeholders or key decision-makers determining necessary features during a preliminary stage, a desired project budget can be exceeded during the development phase.
This can be as a result of:
- Unexpected conditions
- Unrealistic requirements
- Software selection that’s a bad fit for your business
Another challenge is a lack of cross-functional buy-in. When it comes to implementing an ERM-GRC (Enterprise Risk Management/Governance Risk Compliance) software managing collaboration between departments can be problematic. Resistance and apathy are major project risks due to fear of change or imposition and a lack of understanding of the rationale for the project.
Additionally, there can be hidden costs associated with implementation, such as:
- Hardware and additional software changes
- Extra operational resources
- Additional security
- Upgrades, patches and fixes
- IT team training
- Data management
No matter how much you plan, go-live dates can slip. As the development phase progresses, requirements often expand and necessitate new features, or a project proves more difficult than initially anticipated. These setbacks can lead to a creep that inevitably delays an estimated delivery timeline.
Finally, the culmination of all these problems is that your IT team may lose their passion, setting back a project by weeks or even months. This can be due to:
- Unclear motivation
- Unclear goals and timelines
- Overwhelming goals
- Unclear communication throughout the organization
- New, competing priorities and projects
Fast and successful ERC software implementation
There are, however, new technologies that are facilitating easier, more versatile integration and increased digitization of information. Solutions have also begun to tailor applications to better fit the needs of today’s companies— by industry and risk model.
The best of these enterprise risk management (ERC) solutions are designed for an easy implementation that ranges from days to a few weeks, and part of that has to do with not just the product, but the provider behind it. Their implementation teams should have special expertise regarding organizational leadership, implementation science and practice, improvement cycles, and organization and system change methods. They’re accountable for the entire process of effective interventions and implementation methods that produce intended outcomes and reduce the burden on the internal team.
The ideal implementation team is generally comprised of the following:
- The subject matter expert (SME) who is the technical resource immersed in your standard operating procedures and business rules within the organization that must be translated into the software system and best understands how to integrate the two.
- The developer/IT person who knows the back-end technical information that is necessary for software integration and may be needed for various technical responsibilities that the customer must carry out, such as periodic upgrades.
- The strategy team who plan the logistics of the implementation, made up of a customer success manager from the vendor side and some combination of a project manager, product manager, and digital adoption expert from the company side.
- The end-user test group who will be using the software and can provide helpful feedback for working out any kinks by engaging in user acceptance testing and providing a real end-user perspective on how people will be using the product
Carrying over lessons learned
Over the last 20 years, customers from the highly regulated financial sector, as well as manufacturers, utilities, insurance companies, food companies and even testing and certification firms, have provided insights that have been incorporated into the best ERM-GRC software offerings. This can deliver an incredibly flexible piece of software that’s highly intuitive, regardless of the application.
A high degree of configurability allows for a much quicker implementation of a software solution. The result is an out-of-the-box software deployment that drives ROI more quickly and removes the expenses of time-intensive customization. In the case of our own product, EnterpriseInsight™, one such configurable feature is our Universal Evaluation Framework software, an essential part of an enterprise toolkit that supplies a structured, multi-level framework that can be quickly and fully configured by users.
Once the implementation teams have done their job and the internal team has been introduced to the configurability, the biggest benefit of these best-of-breed ERM-GRC solutions? Ease of use. If they include an intuitive interface, they’ll be able to…
- Reduce training time and get faster user adoption
- Right-size to ensure all configurations are scoped, tested, and validated for performance
- Offer scalability based on the workload that removes the guesswork from implementation