SOS Children’s Villages is in course of a major endeavor: Aiming to proof funders and donors effective as well as efficient use of funds, the international NGO plans to set up results-based management and financing across its member associations. Instead of previous financial performance, the specific needs as well as the relevance of a project will be the baseline for resource allotment. This way, SOS Children’s Villages will be even better equipped to provide their stakeholders concrete verification of the performance of their projects and to grant traceability of fund usage – based on a common framework established in all member associations.
One of the biggest challenges was the need to shift towards new finance and management methods and processes while having to design and implement a new ERP system at the same time – across 110 countries with different legislations and requirements. Whilst this in itself would be a big challenge for any cooperation, it is even more demanding in the NGO environment, where budgets are tighter and need to be used as effectively as possible. With this huge transformation program already being in place for some months, BCG Platinion was brought in to provide an additional perspective on and support of a proper project set up and planning for the upcoming migration phase.
Overall, BCG Platinion and SOS Children’s Villages collaborated for three months to find and establish improvement measures for the IT related workstreams of the program.
First, BCG Platinion conducted a project review in five weeks, focusing on feasibility of scope of objectives as well as its planning approach and current state of progress. In addition to that, the project organization and governance as well as the delivery and deployment approach were evaluated.
The program made significant progress and the eleven improvement measures laid the foundation to further improve the current setup. The first important benefit was the transparency created by the review activities which allowed the joint team to work on the most important pain points and prioritize the need for action.
Based on BCG Platinion’s experience and best practices in large ERP implementation programs, the project organization was revised and a reworked rollout plan was drawn up for implementing the project successively in all 110 countries.
Additionally, with the support of BCG Platinion, SOS Children’s Villages worked on documenting and detailing the IT architecture target and transformation, which forms a crucial prerequisite for detailing solution design and for the proper coordination of implementation work.
By guiding and monitoring the execution of the improvement measures, BCG Platinion further enabled SOS Children’ Villages project members to focus on the execution of their project work.
Looking into the Future
A results-based management concept can only be effective if it is lived throughout the entire organization. This requires a fundamental cultural change. The seamless implementation of systems that make management and finance processes easier and more intuitive is a strong, proactive success factor for this cultural transformation.
With the success of the project, SOS Children’s Villages will have more possibilities to even further improve program effectiveness, attract external funding and to promote its own success externally. As a result, the organization can offer more children in need “a loving home” in line with its principle.
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