5 Ways to Improve a Software Implementation Process
Late last week we detailed the difference between optimal implementation process practices and traditional methods. The piece laid out the vital differences between the two methodologies, and why modern best practices can mitigate the many risks that a large software implementation process can present. This time, we will present some individual practices that could effectively improve implementation processes for businesses that are currently considering implementing a new software system.
The key to a successful CRM and ERP implementation process depends on the ROI goals and ultimate scope of the project. Fundamentally, investors are required to detail an end to end scope of their operations. Yet, many implementation projects go rouge when leaders fail to adhere to modern best practices. Software implementation projects detail a variety of multifaceted processes. Each process supports a greater purpose indicative of changes in the business, industry, and market. For a growing business, the real challenge then becomes scaling this content in an economic way. If a software implementation project is compromised (or rushed) the company often suffers loss their investment and opportunities thereafter.
Here are the top five ways to improve a software implementation process:
- Source a third party BPM expert for your software implementation, or integration. A major pitfall of implementation projects is the premise of the the project itself. Business processes are ultimately what determine the ROI of the software; as the software will only be effective as the processes it supports. Typically, investing in this portion of the project can pay off in the long run; as it lays the foundation for the rest of the implementation.Investors are often so eager to see a return, they often decide to deploy the software quickly, internally. However, this takes valuable time and resources away from managing contingencies in the current system. By straddling two projects, current responsibilities are neglected and the shape of the new system often resembles the look of the former.
- It’s a struggle to convince each department the solidarity of their process holds the business back. A successful implementation process outcome can only be achieved when everyone shares a common vision for the project. Find a common ground amongst users to use as a platform to see your growth model through. Sometimes it involves a bit of additional project funding to push teams to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sourcing an outside change management approach can provide insight on what worked for other companies with similar dilemma.
- When leaders view moving the company forward on a clean state as a theorized byproduct of implementation process, instead of including it into the deliverables, projects commonly fail. Many businesses neglect to administer routine data maintenance in legacy systems, damaging the efficiency of software overtime. Flawed data manipulates process outcomes and leads to poor business process modeling. Including a data cleanse in the deliverables can make an implementation much faster and more afforadable. It also allows the company to address misuses of the system so those mistakes do not reoccur in the new software investment.
- Routine communication and accountability is critical throughout — and following — an implementation process. Whoever is charged with leadign the project should include a high level communication plan as a fundamental part of their implementation process. Essentially, this brings business leaders together to take full command and ownership of project outcomes. Routine communication forces high level leaders to become accountable for data management, change orders, and estimates. Adopting this transparency in your next project will greatly improve your expectations of the new system and profoundly lessen contingency in each phase of the project.
- Starting in the backend phases of a project, the implementation team should thoroughly edify business users. After all, business users are at the core of software processes. If users don’t know how to perform jobs and tasks in the system, how can a business expect them to adopt it? Businesses should position their project team to parallel the edification process with system pilots to verify all processes work prior to the go live date. Additionally, this can clarify why particular areas of the system are configured to the current state, so administrators do not stray from the mapping and alter strategic business processes.
Performed in unison, these 5 tips can help you mitigate a significant amount of risk in your next project. If a business has never been through a major implementation, or hasn’t been through one in several years, the business can be inclined to make the mistakes we commonly see with the traditional implementation process. Implementing the steps above can go a long ways toward putting the project on the right path from the onset.
Still not sure? We get these questions a lot. Send our experts a message about your next software implementation project and join the conversation to make the most out of your next investment.