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When implementing new technology, the focus should be on streamlining and extracting some return on investment.  The key is to prioritize projects.  In the streamline phase, it is time to focus on impacting the financials.  This cannot happen in a vacuum.  Unfortunately, many project leaders are not attuned to the financial priorities of executive leaders or ownership.  This often results in projects that have little or no alignment between business operations and financial performance.

Be Transparent

prioritizing projectsIt is critical for owners and executive leaders to be open and up front about what is most important to them in the business.  This gives project leaders a fair chance to spend time on projects that will deliver meaningful value to the business.  Spend time having candid discussions about what parts of the business need the most attention.  If there are cash flow or balance sheet concerns, the project team can put a high focus on improvements to cash intensive processes such as purchasing and accounts payable.  On the other hand, if the primary focus is on gross margin, the team can focus on assuring that sales and purchase pricing models are correctly implemented.

If appropriate, share financial performance information with the project leader.  The project leader needs the benefit of clarity and candor about the state of the business.  Armed with this information, leaders can make better decisions and more quickly deliver results that impact the business in a positive way.  It is recommended that the project leader be included to observer business performance reviews, financial statement reviews, board meetings, or any other activity that helps shape the plan toward improving performance.  Technology is the central nervous system of the business, it touches everything.  It only makes sense to have close link between the business and the system from day one.