Factors that Contribute to a Successful Software Implementation
Today offices everywhere are engaging in implementations of software such as E-Mail such as Microsoft Exchange / Outlook, Office Productivity software such as Microsoft Office, Accounting, Enterprise IM, and Customer Relationship Management. Each software product companies choose starts out with so much promise and optimism. Companies are not choosing vendors and implementation staff lightly, and they enter a project with high expectations for both. When you understand a software implementation from a proper viewpoint, it makes more sense and works better. First of all, the solution to problems are not just about technology, the technology is only a tool. The implementation is about the successful training of staff and adoption of the full feature set planned. Understanding that the implementation is about the people more than it is about the technology also changes the role of project leadership to the company management and not to Information Technology departments or consultants. Your staff has to feel comfortable about the software in advance of the installation, understand how they will do work with the new system, and be optimistic that the system will reduce unnecessary repetitive effort they put in now and empower them with a better handle on their own data. Pitfalls at this point abound, but with good planning, they can be avoided and your company can have a successful implementation.
The promise of good enterprise systems is powerful: keeping all of the data and documents in one secure place and managing all aspects of customer care. Reduced IT costs and new capabilities are also part of the promise of a cloud implementation.
What should managing officers in a company do to succeed? First, they have to make sure to win over their employees, the final users, and keep them enthusiastic, engaged, and involved every step of the way. When the employees feel empowered and included, they are a powerful force for technology adoption. They have to be convinced that not only policy, but actual advantages in the way they do work, will keep them adopting and using the new systems for all work going forward. Legacy systems should be given a turn-off date, so that users expect to clearly be aware that they will not be able to use the old system beyond a specific date and time.
Another thing that managing officers and owners should consider is controlling the expectations, both theirs and their employees’. Everyone needs to see that the successful implementation is about people and not just technology. Also employees and officers need to understand that data migration, programming customizations, and writing custom help files is a considerable effort, and time will vary based on criteria that is sometimes more predictable than others. Sometimes a good implementation will require some dates to be changed from earlier to later, but it is better to change the plans a company has made than to rush an implementation to be complete before its’ time.
At the Web and I we have a lot of experience with implementations large and small. We have seen and surpassed all of the common pitfalls, and we know what your organization needs for its’ implementation to succeed. For help with implementation, and with choosing software to implement, please call us at 646-853-0573.