This time last year, I wrote a blog about the value of ongoing maintenance, a periodic assessment of condition and, ultimately, the onetime big ticket expenditures that homeowners face. In my case, my big-ticket item was a new furnace. For an asset manager it may be a new portfolio accounting system, an OMS and trading platform, or risk and analytic tools. These projects are often multi-year initiatives with high price tags and the highest expectations.
Now that my furnace has been replaced and winter has passed, it seems like a good time to follow another practice that Citisoft would recommend: a post-implementation review. After a significant investment of dollars and time, it is important to determine the value and impact of the project to the organization. Did we get what we wanted? Were the cost estimates in line? Was the level of effort and timeframe accurately estimated? Were there unforeseen expenses or issues along the way? Was it worth it?
After the first winter with my new furnace I performed my own post-implementation review. What did I find?
- I saved money through a state rebate rewarding me for investing in an energy efficient appliance
- I had to replace the hot water heater at the same time or spend twice as much in a couple of years (oops, unexpected cost)
- I chose to hire a cleaning service to perform an industrial cleaning of my basement after years of my original furnace leaving soot behind (oops, unexpected but optional cost)
- I gained at least 40% fuel efficiency during heating periods.
I can conclude from my review that while it may take some years to recoup the costs, ultimately, I will save money and be a greener citizen.
What should an asset manager look at during a post-implementation review?: The following should be considered:
The original plan:
- Scope and deliverables
- Costs and schedules
- Short- and long-term benefits
- Businesses requirements to be met
- Technology upgrades
- Automation and/or processes to be streamlined or eliminated
- Increased or decreased scope
- Day 2 or delayed implementation items
- Process improvements gained
- Technology cost increase or savings
- Business acceptance
- Actual implementation time
- Actual project costs vs. proposed costs
- Lessons learned
After the “go live” of an important initiative it takes some time to let the dust settle, but there is a lot to be learned from the experience. What was the impact to the organization? Can the firm support another significant initiative? If so, what should be repeated or avoided in the future? Using the above criteria, you should be able to answer these questions within a reasonable period of time of the project end.
Ultimately, this information is not a “nice to know” but the responsibility of management to collect on behalf of the firm and all stakeholders.