As cloud service providers, we sometimes see IT implementations fail in interactions with our clients. Most of the time, the problem is not with the software itself, but because a client has chosen the wrong method of software setup, or not planned the process at all.
Whatever the reason, implementation failures can serve a serious financial hit, and have a major impact on business performance.
Below we’ve listed some areas of concern we’ve identified with some of our clients, and ways in which you can plan a successful IT implementation for your organisation.
- System Selection
Choosing the right system is obviously a good place to start. Come up with a list of your organisation’s needs and requirements, and make sure you can classify each point by priority – i.e. what’s urgent, a must-have life or death necessity, and what’s not particularly important but would be great to have. Review the appropriate systems and make your selection.
Identify key people to lead the implementation – don’t choose Janice in accounting (because she doesn’t give a $#@*)! It’s important to select people from different areas – what works for the managing director may not work for the tradesperson in the field.
Don’t have one person review everything, but on the flip side don’t have 1,000 people on a review panel. Adding more people to complete the project than necessary not only increases the cost of a project, but also decreases the quality. The more people involved, the more opportunities for disagreement and miscommunication.
Insufficient training and support can bury an implementation project. Whilst user adoption rates can drop off for a number of reasons, lack of training and support before and after implementation rank high on the list.
Plan training to ensure that all appropriate users and staff are included. Ideally, keep training notes, and workflow guidelines that can be referred back to when required. If possible, record training, and use screen share videos to boost engagement. This will also save time when training new staff in the future.
Remember, everyone learns differently – some people love words, some images, some videos. Mix it up.
Time spent thoroughly testing a system before placing it into production can save much more time in the long run. Would you dive into a swimming pool without checking for water? Don’t go live before testing everything you need to.
Don’t use ‘fake’ information when testing your system. ‘Star Wars Pty Ltd’ doesn’t compare to a real customer with real information. And don’t just test a system with one sale of one simple item – try it and break it! Foreign currency? Do it. Revisions and variations? Go for gold.
Just as a building needs an architect, if you require backup or advice from implementation specialists, the team at Waypoint are here to help.
Best of luck!