When you get involved in the implementation of a new software system as a key user, you will have to understand what this actually means. After all, such an implementation is not something you do every year and so it will be difficult to realize what this requires from you. To get straight to the point, I have an important tip for key users: forget about the system that you are currently working with! I will tell you why.
It is not replaced for nothing
Within the company you work for, the decision to replace the current software has not been taken over a day. There are always good reasons for doing this. One of the reasons is that development of the current system has been stopped, while the market keeps on changing. You would like to see new versions of the software to deal with these changes. Another reason is that the software is actually outdated over the years. As a result, it is hardly impossible to integrate the software with modern applications that continue to develop. But the main reason is often that the current software simply no longer meets the current way of working. The motivation for selecting this system back then is often because of, at that moment, a lack of better alternatives.
Current way of working is determined by the old system
The way in which the processes and working methods have been set up within the current system are partly due to the possibilities, peculiarities and limitations of the current – to be replaced – system. The new software works by definition differently. You will therefore have to start thinking about the new way of working. And thus, forget about about the current way of working. I fully agree that this is difficult. However, it is necessary for a successful implementation. So you have to let go of the current system completely.
The new system will also impact your processes
The new system will also have its possibilities and limitations. You will therefore have to search, together with your colleagues and the implementation partner, for the optimal way of working. This also means that some processes will run in a different way. But be aware that the current processes and working methods are also determined by the old software. Looking back on "how things works now" really makes no sense.
That sounds difficult. And it is. You feel familiar with the old system. You understand it inside out. But please realize that this has not always been the case. You have also experienced issues with your current systems and you have overcome those issues. Or accepted them. Or perhaps you have not.
For this reason, consider the implementation of the new system as a great opportunity to organize the processes in the most optimal way. And as a perfect moment to take a critical look at the current way of working. The new software will be implemented, that decision has already been taken. Seize the opportunity offered to you by getting involved in the project as a key user. The old system is being replaced, it is time for something new.
Peter Gerhardt is Senior Lead Consultant Logistics at Dysel and helps customers achieve maximum results with business software.