Three Best Practices for Software Implementation
04 Jul 2014
An important factor when planning for a software implementation is to plan for failure instead of success. Software implementations are complex and you need to ensure you have a detailed project plan to ensure a successful software implementation – this includes planning for failure. Potential pitfalls can be avoided by pinpointing possible issues such as end-users having insufficient knowledge about the software implementation.
You especially need to be well-prepared in the case of a large software implementation. The implementation might for instance involve a significant number of end-users or your locations are spread out globally – perhaps even across different time-zones.
Thorough Preparation before Implementation
Preparation is key to ensuring the implementation goes as problem-free as possible. Three things you should include in your project plan are consistent internal communication, a beneficial partnership with your vendor and a core project team responsible for the software implementation.
Communicate to end-users placed in different locations around world the to ensure they are well-informed of the software implementation
1. Consistent communication to end-users through relevant internal channels
Before, during and after the implementation, ensure you provide end-users with information about the migration on an on-going basis. This will assure a swift transition were the new software doesn’t take end-users by surprise as well as ensuring they know where to find user-guides and other important resources. A good way to accomplish this is involving your global communication-and marketing department as well as any local communication departments. It is key to communicate to end-users in a clear and consistent manner.
2. Good partnership with software vendor
A solid partnership with your software vendor is important when embarking on a software implementation. It’s ideal not to enter a vendor / client relationship but a partnership where success factors are the same for both parties. This way all participants form a team where trust and transparency are driving factors. Finally, it’s important to have a responsive partner who is willing to swiftly assist you during the implementation if necessary. When you find it beneficial, involve your software vendor to take advantage of their knowledge on the field.
3. Core project team with overall responsibility
Create a core project team which is responsible for the software implementation. During the actual implementation, this team can work in the same meeting room similar to a command center to enable quick decision making during the implementation. You could also include a representative from the vendor to have an expert on the software available for assistance during the implementation process. Finally, ensure the project group reaches out to the different locations to get an update on the ongoing implementation. If your locations are placed in different time-zones, plan to meet at times that fit both the project group and the relevant location the best.
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