4 Reasons Your Software Integration Project Is Failing
Our last post covered some early steps that you should be taking should you notice an enterprise software project failing. Today, we are turning to the other side of the coin, going over some of the biggest red flags there are for software integration failure so that you know how the best practices for avoiding project failure from the get go. Whether you’re halfway through an ERP and CRM integration or just beginning the process, carefully comb through your project plan to make sure you’re avoiding these four guaranteed roadblocks to your success. After all, software integration is one of the most proactive steps you can take to maximizing the ROI on your software systems and truly transforming your business into a customer-focused revenue machine.
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1. No Clear Scope
If you don’t a clear, specific and achievable goal and timeline for your integration, it seems intuitive that your project will fail. After all—how do you measure scores with no clear goalpost? Without clarity in your software integration project, you are actively inviting scope creep; one of the major killers of any software integration project. If your C-Suite doesn’t have a definitive guide of what the integration will achieve they will begin to expect more and more from it, and want you to get it done faster than you had to planned; all while working on the same budget that you started off with. Confused expectations and increasing demand on no evidence will only strain your integration project past your original plans and budgeted time and expense. The result? Inevitable failure.
2.The Project is IT-Focused Only
You would be surprised at the number of businesses who believe that only their IT team should have a hand in, and thus be responsible for, the integration of their business’ enterprise systems. This limited kind of view simply isn’t logical. Once your integration is complete and the go-live date has long past, your interconnected systems will be utilized, and have an effect on, every single member of your organization. So why should your IT team be the only people involved in getting the project off the ground? Of course, your tech department is instrumental in getting the fine details of the software to work out, but every department and their processes need to mapped out and aligned with your new integration procedures. Which department’s data needs to be moved between ERP and CRM in real time? Are there are factors which only need to be caught up weekly? Only by involving every single member of your organization will you get the detail you need to map out your software integration project.
3. The Kitchen-Sink Integration
Just because we’ve told you to include all of your business in a software integration project doesn’t mean you need to toss everyone into the deep end straightaway. Too many companies decide to dive headfirst into a software integration once they hear about the myriad of benefits and cost-saving opportunities it provides. While this enthusiasm for any software integration project isn’t a bad thing, it is often misplaced; too much too soon will likely overwhelm your employees with new information and techniques—leading to them abandoning the integration before it’s even really gotten off the ground. Proper change management is key in this situation. Start with your IT department and then roll out from there, ensuring that everyone in your company has a hand in the creation of the software integration project so that they are invested in its success. Integration should be rolled out in stages, not all at one time to ensure that your company doesn’t undergo software shock.
4. No Cross-Software Understanding
While it is always advisable to have people on your project team with complex knowledge of each of the systems that you will be integrating, it also imperative that these experts are not working in silos. It seems obvious, but it bears repeating that you cannot carry out software integration without total communication between the two systems that are connecting—you’re obviously going to need someone who can speak both languages and translate.
If you can put someone on your project who has a sophisticated working knowledge in both systems, all the better. Two experts in each system who can collaborate effectively can also be an invaluable asset to your project at this stage. This is a good time to bring on outside help if you don’t have someone who fits the bill within your organization—software consultants often have far more complex and wide-ranging experience with software systems that could be invaluable to the success of your integration.Without a through knowledge of, and developmental experience in, both of your enterprise systems you will not be able to create the necessary customizations and sync specifics that will keep your data where it needs to be. Your project team is critical to the success of your software integration project; make sure they have the know-how you need to make it run smoothly.
Enterprise software integration is fast becoming a necessity in the modern enterprise world, a necessity for business looking to get an all-encompassing view of their clients and to magnify the value of their data by connecting across the enterprise. At this point; business integration is a must-do. However, that doesn’t mean you can integrate at the top of the hat; without proper planning and training, your software integration project will fail. Working methodically and thoroughly is the key to success when it comes to your enterprise systems—but that doesn’t mean you should keep your integration limited. The most accomplished integrations eventually compromise all departments of your business, from the shop floor to your sales team; that’s the only way to truly collect all of the data you need to transform your business into a customer-focused powerhouse.
If you’re looking for a consultant with experience in the systems you’re integrating, contact one of our experts at Datix today. We are certified partners with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Plex and Epicor Gold Partners. We also have two different integration products, Connect and Unity, that will integrate your CRM and ERP systems seamlessly in mere days. Basically, we know integration. Get in touch with us today!