CTRM implementations are some of the most challenging projects that a supply and trading organization can undertake. The power of these systems is that they bring value across the enterprise by automating business processes, calculating complex risk analytics, tracking physical product movements and providing a near real time view into profit and loss statements. If implemented correctly, it enables the organization to scale across commodities, geographies and volume in a way that just can’t be accomplished with spreadsheets and email. CTRM systems really can create transformational impact.
Unfortunately, the energy industry is littered with projects that exceeded their budgets by millions or missed their Go-Live by months or years. While overbudget or late projects are not ideal, either would be a welcomed alternative to any organization who has had to cancel a project that was not performing. Since CTRM implementations are by definition technology projects, it might be easy to conclude that the source of these challenges is rooted in a failing of technology. While technology may have been a contributor, we have found that poor project management is typically a major contributing factor. Effective project management could have avoided or mitigated many of the challenges that plagued these projects.
Within our CTRM practice, we work with organizations of all sizes (start-ups to super majors) to help them get the most out of investments in technology. In fact, getting to this business value is the sole reason that Veritas exists. Despite our collective decades of experience, very rarely is the path to this value a straight line. There are too many dimensions with technology projects that no one could ever predict exactly how they will change as the project progresses, and this is why effective project management can be the difference between success and failure.
Getting to Business Value
We use the Veritas Value Curve to illustrate the path to business value. CTRM projects can be an expensive investment and achieving the ROI requires effective project management throughout the journey. A common misperception is that Go-Live is the goal for the project and while it is an important milestone, it is only the start of the process of achieving business value. Real value comes from the organization using the system in the way that is intended and having their work lives improved. When this happens the organization as a whole is improved because people can spend their time on value-added tasks that may have not been possible prior to the system going live.
Experience has taught us that getting the organization to utilize the solution begins way back in the planning phase. This is when the scope is set and stakeholders are first engaged. The conversations that occur in planning and detailed design serve as foundation for much of the post Go-Live activities. We have found these conversations are most productive when they are led by resources that can naturally marry business process, technology and industry knowledge.
If getting the organization to embrace the system is the ultimate goal, then a lot of things need to go right for this to be possible: A high-performing team needs to be assembled and the right system needs to be selected. The systems needs to be correctly configured and integrated for useful reports to be created. Project management ties all these disciplines and workstreams together so that the organization does not get trapped in the abyss and actually achieves the business value that the budget/investment demands.
If your organization is considering implementing or upgrading a CTRM system, you (or your project management team) may benefit from reading the series of topics that relate to the journey ahead. We will cover some of the key factors that must be considered to effectively reach the business value with projects. This starts with effective planning and understanding that Go-Live is not the destination, but instead just a critical milestone on the way to business value.
CTRM Project Management Done Right Series:
This blog sets the foundation for our series, CTRM Project Management Done Right. Our series will focus on how good project management on CTRM projects can be all the difference when creating business value. We will explore the various stages of a project and how to overcome some of the common challenges with good project management, so you can ultimately achieve business value on your project.
- Post Go-Live
At Veritas Total Solutions, we are experts in CTRM Systems and believe our strong project management skills make us uniquely positioned to help you reach business value. If you are interested in learning more about our specific capabilities, contact us to learn more or subscribe to our blog to stay connected.