Chemonics is a leading global sustainable development firm with a vision to promote meaningful change around the world to help people live healthier, more productive, and more independent lives.They work with government and development sector counterparts across three continents to deliver programmes in sectors including climate action, education, governance, peacebuilding, stabilisation, social cohesion, and research.

Project Context

Chemonics International, an international development company with headquarters in Washington DC USA, embarked on an ambitious program to establish a new legal entity within the UK. Recognising the complexity of the task ahead, Chemonics engaged Nine Feet Tall to provide support from a Project Management perspective and manage the implementation of a financially led ERP system.

Project Delivery

9FT took a hands-on approach to the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, managing the process from requirements gathering, vendor selection to go-live. While 9FT’s primary focus was on ERP delivery, we also supported with the segmentation programme including Change and PMO.

The services provided by 9FT included managing and monitoring the programme plans, reporting on the programme’s progress, and ensuring effective communication with all key stakeholders throughout the delivery process. 9FT adopted a “Just Enough Governance” approach, providing visibility into timescales, risks, and delivery, thereby enabling better decision-making and stakeholder engagement.

For the ERP system implementation, 9FT supported Chemonics in selecting the right vendor. Due to a tight timeline, Chemonics opted for an out-of-the-box solution, understanding a need to adapt their processes to align with the new system. Collaborating with Chemonics through a series of workshops, high-level requirements were identified and an understanding of how the system’s functionality would align with Chemonics’ processes was achieved.

Working with key users, workstream leads, the supplier, and the vendor, 9FT outlined the necessary process changes, enabling the sign off on different functionalities of the ERP before testing. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) focused on testing the functionality of the new system, alongside agreed  process changes for Chemonics. The new ERP system was tested and implemented to guarantee expected functionality.

To minimise data migration efforts and align with the project’s timeline, Chemonics decided to migrate key data, primarily focusing on master data and reducing the need for historic transactional data. The go-live occurred in phases, prioritising functionalities based on a collaboration between 9FT and Chemonics. Training plans, materials, and end-user support were provided throughout the project to ensure effective system utilisation.

Project Outcomes

As a result of the implementation, Chemonics now have a number of key capabilities in place to effectively run their new business. The end users reported their best and most positive engagement with a rollout, with minimal issues and objections about the change journey. The transition process was well managed, thanks to 9FT’s management of user issues during the phased go-live approach.

By collaborating closely with 9FT and embracing a culture of adaptability, Chemonics accomplished its goal of establishing and running its UK legal business within a challenging timeframe. The ERP implementation provides a solid foundation for Chemonics to optimise its operations, streamline processes, and drive future growth.

The effective communication, partnership relationship and adaptability of the 9ft team was critical in the delivery of the system within the tight timeframes we required. Nine Feet Tall were able to bring on a range of resources and adapt these resources to fit the needs of the project, this meant that we were able to keep momentum within the project and also felt suitably supported through plugging the key gaps in our ERP knowledge and expertise.

Michael Gillespie UK Chief of Staff, Chemonics