As global organizations embark on digital transformation journey to capture long term benefits of digitization, an often overlooked area is the software technology implementation.
Managing a thoughtful and well-designed global implementation matters to deliver the full potential of software technology which has been selected post evaluation of features, price, etc. If the implementation is not managed well, it can derail the entire digital transformation journey. The following guidelines will help you realize success:
- Clear ownership and commitment across the organization
It is critical to identify an executive sponsor who drives the strategic success and purpose of the digital transformation and a project manager to drive tactical day to day activities of the software technology implementation. Establish a strong governance model with well-defined controls and processes. Also identify and allocate sufficient resources across the organization (department staff, IT resources etc.) required for implementation.
- Robust Implementation Plan and Partner
Ensure you have selected the right implementation partner with proven implementation methodology and experienced resources. This could be working directly with the software vendor or a consulting services company that has been certified by the software vendor. Identify and build a comprehensive implementation plan, which includes activities for all stakeholders and not just those that are proposed by the implementation partner.
- Timeline and Goals
Identify realistic timelines and define measurable goals for the implementation. One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is trying to implement a software within the shortest possible time. Based on industry records, 57% of organizations take longer than expected to implement software technology – largely because they had unrealistic expectations in the first place. Miscalculations regarding budget, time, and resources early in the planning process are primary causes for failed implementations. Track the progress and goals achieved throughout the implementation, and refine them as needed during the process.
- Transparent Communications
It is important to communicate with transparent timelines, the reason behind implementing new software technology, what problems are being solved, how it will benefit them and the company, what changes to existing processes will occur as some processes will get automated, how training will be delivered etc. to all everyone involved. Identify and encourage change advocates from within the department and the organization.
- Monitor and Celebrate Success
A successful implementation is just the beginning. It is a marathon, not a race. It is crucial to have established ongoing change management, training & development and product support processes. Encourage product adoption via positive reinforcements. Setup a framework to measure product adoption, course corrections via user feedback etc. Promote and celebrate success across the department and organization through internal communications.
Prakash Nagaraju is the VP of Customer Success at SirionLabs and brings over 13 years of experience in customer-facing leadership roles. Prior to joining SirionLabs, Prakash developed world-class success and services teams at organizations such as UBS, ANZ, Bank of America, and Accenture. As head of customer success at SirionLabs, Prakash is responsible for all aspects of the post-sales customer experience including on-boarding, technical services, customer retention, and technical support. Follow him on Twitter – @PrakashNagaraju