The dynamics described herein of continuous improvement programs are valid for all projects, regardless of size, and the actual design and assignments of these continuous improvement programs will depend on all of the aspects of corporate leadership described in Part II. Because this is an element that must be performed by one means or another, continuous improvement programs are important to think of as a distribution of assigned responsibilities, rather than as an additional cost for another layer of management. If continuous improvement programs do result in additional costs, these costs should be viewed as adding components of governance that were simply lacking in the current project plans. How can this be applied to longer or even permanent programs?
Referring back to Chapter 3, the explosion of ERP applications during the last few decades has created an opportunity to flatten the investment curve with a focus on Return on Investment. Although this requires a change in the perception of how organizations plan for and execute changes associated with business processes, the opportunity to flatten the investment curve and create a long-term or permanent view of using IT strategy to derive continuous business benefits has arrived. One must consider the implications for this program governance model in continuous improvement programs. Specifically, one now has to consider the following needs.