Questions to ask yourself before implementing new software

Questions

LOS GATOS, CA Jan 8th, 2016 -

"44% of strategic initiatives are unsuccessful. Top causes:

Source: Project Management Institute

Are you considering replacing manual processes with enterprise software? With so many different types of software on the market today, it can be difficult to identify which is most appropriate for your organization. Should you rely on your IT department to select a solution...or do you select a product that you’ve previously used or heard about?

Before you begin your quest in finding the right software, take these critical factors into consideration to help ensure a successful roll-out and end user adoption.
Ask yourself:


1. Do I have executive buy-in and support?
You have presented the business case with ROI to the executive team and gained budget approval. That’s a great start, but you must have executive support during the entire life cycle of the project—and beyond—as they will be called upon to provide direction and help make important business decisions.

2. Are the business processes, policies and procedures well defined and documented?
When was the last time you reviewed your business process? Is it fully defined, documented and understood by all employees? Implementing software without having your business process defined up front is like trying to win by sticking a nickel in a quarter slot machine. Software decisions solely based on what someone has used before—and trying to build your process around how it works after it is implemented—is not good practice.

3. Is the company culture open to change? Let’s face it – not everyone is comfortable with change. But change is inevitable. Helping to eliminate resistance starts at the top—by those who have the most influence in the organization—precisely why you need executive buy-in. Still, there will always be those who remain resistant to change no matter what, which makes the process even more challenging.

4. Has the strategy been communicated to all departments involved? Once the business process and strategy are finalized, it needs to be communicated to all teams. The discussion should include the reasoning behind the initiative (what’s the business problem?) and benefits to the company and employees. The goal is to be as transparent as possible to eliminate any doubt, confusion or concern. This is a critical step and must be supported by the executive team.

5. Do I have the appropriate resource(s) in place to manage this implementation? If your company is like most, you’re probably not adequately staffed to find the right software, let alone implement it in a timely and cost-effective manner. You may want to consider professional project management services. A professional project manager not only helps ensure you implement the best software for your business requirements, it can improve your return on investment, too.

So, how’d you do? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions, you’re well on your way! But if you answered “no” to one or more, it may be time to evaluate the circumstances further before moving forward.

About The Author


Veronica Thraen is the Owner and Principal Consultant at Maven Project Management, a technology project management consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona that helps growing organizations put processes and tools in place to keep projects on track for long-term growth and success. Visit Veronica's site at www.mavenprojectmanagement.com .