Implementing software is an extensive process that can affect all areas of your business. A successful software implementation is one that runs smoothly and comes in under or within your budgeted price tag. In order to avoid costly setbacks, it’s important to carefully select the right software and vendor to work with, checking references along the way. Factors to consider when selecting software include the vendor’s industry expertise and the caliber of their customer support.
At Add-On Products, we consider ourselves your partners when implementing software at your facility. The following are a few key best practices that we keep in mind in order to successfully implement software for our customers.
A project plan defines success upfront, so you’ll know whether it has been achieved. A project also controls project prices, ensures that goals are met, and helps a project remain in scope.
According to a report by IAG Consulting, 68% of IT projects fail. Software implementations fail for a variety of reasons, including the following:
• Wrong software selection
• Unrealistic schedule or budget
• Inadequate resources
• Lack of support from management
• Lack of software training and education
Many of these issues can be avoided with a strong project plan. A project plan outlines the business requirements that the software will fulfill and establishes clear expectations for everyone involved, from management, to the IT department, to the vendor partner.
A project plan should also include a realistic timeline for implementation based on the vendor’s experience, the complexity of the software being implemented, and your company’s size. Create a firm go-live date, but keep in mind that delays do happen. You may need to make adjustments to your schedule.
Assign a project manager on the client side and on the vendor side. The project managers will be responsible for driving the project toward completion both on time and on budget. If the project is really large, you’ll also need to appoint a steering committee to keep track of the two project managers and ensure that they stay on task. A project manager can balance the varied expectations of different team members and coordinate between them. Be sure to select a project manager with the proper credentials and experience because the project manager plays a pivotal role in the outcome of the software implementation.
Every segment of your business will have different needs and expectations. Engage all end users and team members who will be affected by the implementation. Determine how each team member will use the software and discuss best practices with everyone. Provide users with the training necessary to use the software successfully.
A “set it and forget it” mentality won’t work when it comes to implementing software. It’s essential to anticipate the ongoing costs and commitments required to maintain a software solution and ensure its long-term success. Add-On Products offers different levels of maintenance programs that grant customers access to product updates and upgrades. Our MP Gold program also gives users unlimited access to our tech support hotline, which is accessible via phone or email.
Add-On Products offers resource scheduling software, team calendar software and digital signage software for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange. For more information about Add-On Products’ solutions and how we can help you successfully implement our software in your workplace, please contact us to set up a free demo or free trial.