The implementation of business software has many challenges and pitfalls. With a decent preparation and by keeping some basic rules in mind, you significantly increase the chance of a successful implementation.
1. A clear scope, timeline and budget
Who does what, when does it happen and at what cost? It is crucial to make clear agreements about this in advance. Everyone knows the stories of terrible implementations that seem to take endless, exceed the budget heavily and where nobody takes responsibility. So, draw up a detailed project plan in which you describe who performs which tasks and when. You can then hold each other accountable for their tasks and take actions in time when the planning is at risk. Define a project scope that is realistic and feasible and save less necessary topics for after the go-live.
2. Support from within the organization
Internally, you cannot force the implementation of business software. If users do not like the new system, you might as well not start with the project. It is important to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm, positivity and teamwork. You do this by making users understand the benefits of the system. And more specifically; the benefits for them personally. For example, less administrative work, better collaboration or faster data retrieval.
3. Do not underestimate data migration
When moving to a new business system, you often take data from the old system with you. Unfortunately, this is not a matter of copy-paste. You need to think carefully about which data you take with you, ensure that this data is clean and complete and perform several tests before the final data conversion. Data migration is a much-underestimated part of the implementation project. By not spending enough time on this, the implementation can be seriously delayed.
"New software brings change and that is not easy for everyone."
4. A strong, multidisciplinary project team
You need various specialists during an implementation. Think of a technical consultant, functional consultant, business consultant and project leader at the implementation partner. And a project manager plus key users on your side. The key users play a crucial role. They represent their department in streamlining and designing the business processes, they test the software and transfer the acquired knowledge to the rest of the organization.
5. Pay attention to change management
New software brings change and that is not easy for everyone. For example, if you are used to doing something with pen and paper for years and suddenly you need to do it digital, that can be a difficult step to take. Change management is very important here. The management of the organization must prepare everyone for the imminent transition to the new system and remove any frustrations and uncertainties. Good internal communication helps with this. From the selection process until after the go-live, be transparent about what you are doing, what awaits the organization and update people on the progress you make.
6. Do not consider the go-live as the end, but as the beginning
Finally, we are live! Good luck with the new system! Unfortunately, that is still too often what happens when a new business system goes live. While the go-live should be regarded as the beginning! The beginning of improvement. As soon as you work with the new system, you need to implement new ideas and optimizations. Because during the implementation, you are only focused on what is important, or maybe even only on what is necessary. Make sure you do not lose momentum and quickly initiate your next project.