After signing a contract to purchase business performance management (BPM) software, you quickly find yourself in the transition from technology selection to project implementation. More often than not, the salesperson is around less often and you need to determine how to move forward with the implementation. Who will assist you? The vendor? A third party? Nobody?

In the early days of BPM, some companies implemented performance management systems and processes on their own. If there were enough staff in IT and finance to make up a project team, the tendency was to skip consideration of outside resources. The result of these self-installs was often an interesting contradiction: a relatively happy end user, but a less than fully functional BPM solution. The user would be happy that he saved some money and proud of what he was able to build into the system on his own. However, to accomplish this self-install he often gave up on some of the tougher, more complex aspects of the implementation that were deemed important in his own original requirements document. BPM has become too critical (and too big an investment) to allow some cowboy to go off on his own and not fully meet the organization's performance needs. Organizations now prefer to leverage the experiences of those who have gone before them and the deep product expertise of trained consultants. Today the few organizations that do venture ahead on their own often find themselves reinventing the wheel, resulting in spending over budget and prolonging the wait to realize benefits as the project runs over schedule.

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