When implementing a new piece of software, whether it’s something new and shiny, or simply for the purpose of replacing an outdated system, it’s crucial that it functions as it is intended to as quickly as possible. Keeping hindrances at bay can help save a lot of time in the long run, not just for the users, but also for your tech team (they do a lot more than simply switching things off and back on again, honest!).
So let’s take a look at a few of the mistakes that can slip through the net, and what you can do to avoid them rearing their head.
1. Not scoping the business requirements thoroughly
There isn’t a single piece of software on the market that is perfect straight out of the box (the person trying to sell it to you will try and say it is!) but most good suites of software have a number of settings, field customizations, reports and/or workspaces that need to be configured prior to use. How do you know this piece of software is going to do what you want if you haven’t discussed this need in detail with your implementation consultant?
A general overview of the capabilities of the system is completely different to a full software specification. So if your software partner isn’t including the time to fully scope your needs within the quote, you should be asking why and challenging them on it.
2. Skimping on training
There is always a need to keep the costs for every implementation to a minimum but cutting back on training can impact hugely on the effectiveness of your software. Without thorough training, your staff will lack the skills they need to work efficiently and to maximize your investment in your software. A staff member that struggles to find their way around your new system quickly becomes disenfranchised and disinterested, no matter how well you achieved initial staff buy-in to the project.
Software providers can often minimize the days allocated to training in order to make their proposal more attractive to you and more competitive against other companies. Ensuring the right amount of training is secured alongside the software integration is just as important as securing the software itself; too little and the software could break down very early on due to rookie errors and lack of understanding of the system. On the other hand, too much training might put you on your finance team’s bad side!
3. I want it and I want it now
The downfall of many software implementations is to do everything in the first instance – and by this, I mean making the system all singing and all dancing from day one. After all, if the software makes the job easier, who wouldn’t want to implement it as quickly as possible?
The reality is that instantaneous integration is too much for any organization to take on; the support requirements are huge, meaning that your staff gets stuck in a backlog reducing productivity and becoming disenfranchised. Then you discover a few changes that need to be made, those may take some time or require retraining and you may incur additional costs that could have been avoided.
A more practical approach is a phased delivery. This phased approach can have a variety of levels within it. For example, you can phase system functionality, teams of users going live or both! Then with each phase, you do a review, implementing any changes before the next phase. This ensures a smooth, easy delivery that will fully meet your needs.
ITAS has been a Sage Business Partner since 1995. We combine good technical knowledge and experience of Sage 200 and Sage CRM software with thorough scoping techniques, project management skills, and effective training to make sure you maximize your investment in Sage software.