Surviving A Software Implementation

Posted by Tiffany Minegar on Feb 2, 2015, 9:51:00 AM

You meticulously researched software solutions and finally select the perfect fit.  But now comes the hard part – The Implementation. 

Many organizations face difficult software implementations because they fail to plan and manage implementation risks. It's frustrating when this happens because the whole purpose of implementing a project controls system in the first place was to make everyone's life a lot easier.  But if an implementation isn't done right, it becomes very difficult to communicate the value of a project controls system and demonstrate a return on investment.  

Survival tips for a successful software implementation: 

1. It Ain't Going to Be Easy 

Don’t assume that the implementation process is like a pop-up tent.  Even the best products require some prep work and planning before you can get things working perfectly for your company. The reality is that products don’t implement themselves.  To effectively implement a project controls system you need the people, process, and tools to be in alignment.  Some implementations may be quick and easy, but what if you hit a bump in the road?  Or what if you want to ensure that the implementation process goes smoothly.  Wouldn't it be nice to know that you have knowledgeable implementation experts to provide support when you need it?  Organizations that chose ARES PRISM products know that they get a team of implementation experts with a proven track record of over 20 years of experience and 1,000+ global implementations. It’s reassuring to know that you aren’t alone in the implementation process so make sure that you have an implementation team that you can depend on. 

2. People Hate Change

Change is difficult for people. So, don’t imagine that changing project controls systems will be any different.  Even though it takes more time and energy to do things the old way, your project controls team may be hesitant to abandon the existing and familiar procedures for monthly reporting cycles, data analytics, and project forecasting.  So, address this during the implementation process and make sure to equip your team with the knowledge and skills that they need to make a smooth transition to the new project controls system.

And here is another idea, what if you renamed "Roll Out" or "Go Live" to Solution Adoption? Just those simple word changes and you've moved the finish line down the road one more critical mile.  Reframe how the implementation process is perceived. 

3. The Execs are Watching

Executives are the end consumer of project controls information (whether internal or external). After all, they were the ones you pitched the idea to, the ones that funded your initiative, and the ones you are accountable to for delivering the results. Don’t ever stray away from this essential tenant. Yes, many people will benefit from the system including project and program managers, project controls engineers, your customer, and your fellow teammates. However, your executives have a picture of what success looks like in their mind. Let’s even call it an “un-communicated expectation”. It’s your job to deeply understand it, help them visualize it, and confirm it. Every executive has their own preferences.  Some prefer high-level reports with color-coded graphical representations.  Other executives prefer deep detail and nitty-gritty performance charts.  Each of these is okay.  But you need to gather these preferences beforehand in order to avoid the risk of implementation failure.   

4. Know The Risks

You are not alone. Software implementation plans and best practices do actually exist!  Take advantage of the helpful risk mitigation strategies available in this white paper: Top Risk Mitigation Strategies – A Proven Software Implementation Plan for Integrated Project Controls.  Explore ten of the most common risks associated with solution implementation and learn how to effectively mitigate them with proven project controls implementation strategies. 

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Topics: Implementation Strategies, White Paper Downloads