Are you embarking on a new technology initiative (or already knee-deep in one) to replace your company’s core technologies? Implementing new software can help your business gain efficiencies, become more nimble, improve your processes, increase service quality, and save money.
You may feel that your company is long overdue for this worthwhile undertaking – but before you invest your organization’s time and money, there are a few major pillars to prepare for.
If your company is planning on implementing new technology to transform your business, you’ll want to be ready for all of the complexities. Read on to learn the three pillars that many organizations overlook when implementing new technology.
Pillar #1: Readiness
Your business is transforming. Is your organization ready? Are you ready? Is your team ready?
Many organizations have made the error of outlining strategic goals for a major initiative without first considering how the specific individuals leading or sponsoring the implementation will impact the goals.
Without defining and managing organizational, personal, or team goals that align with the initiative, the individuals needed to drive change and manage outcomes for success are often left confused or frustrated by a new role – one that arose during a challenging program – with outcomes that they didn’t expect nor desire. Assumptions are often made that leaders know what they need. Personal aspirations are overlooked, and career opportunities are missed.
Begin the best way: Prepared
In my work helping payer organizations implementing claims administration software, I found that project leaders are often pressured to begin the execution due to artificially set deadlines. Missing the opportunity to adequately prepare your organization can cause significant obstacles for the organization, leadership, your people, your teams, and the program. Proper planning must occur to be successful but, in haste, project leaders often begin without enough readiness, engage resources too soon, and spend money too quickly.
Implementations are challenging, often stressful, cost more, and take longer than many organizations expect or plan for – but this doesn’t have to be the case. We recommend working with experienced professionals to establish program governance models, reduce the complexity of your project where possible, and mitigate your risk. Using a disciplined decision-making process will help your company stay on-budget and on-track.
Pillar #2: Ownership
Who really owns the project? Your organization or your vendors?
This may seem rhetorical; of course, your organization is ultimately responsible for your business. However, it seems more often than not that accountability ends up in the hands of the vendor.
This reliance on your vendor may inadvertently shift direction of the project, create inefficiencies, and even cause confusion amongst your internal teams.
When issues arise, looking to vendors to solve them isn’t always the best strategy. Your vendor is there with the know-how to implement the new software – but they aren’t familiar with your unique business goals, organizational structure, or team culture.
Project ownership should always fall to the organization, which is why the guidance of an experienced software implementation consultant is so critical.
In short: You and your organization taking the helm to lead and manage the technology implementation will ensure your top goals are achieved while transforming your business.
Pillar #3: Execution
Are you leading with knowledge?
Sure, you might be getting plenty of product training from your software vendor, but does your team really understand how and why the technology is getting implemented? Does your team know what a successful implementation will look like and the reality of what it will do for your company?
Change management is about the people in your organization. One obstacle that many organizations create for themselves is overloading key team members with the responsibility of managing the numerous activities of such a critical project in addition to their regular duties.
Start with the end in mind: Take time prior to project kickoff to ensure your organizational goals and your technical roadmap are aligned with the goals of your individual teams and team members. This helps guarantee successful execution of project milestones as everyone understands how their own role impacts the overall program.
The investment of a large-scale technology implementation is likely one of your organization’s top strategic priorities, so invest in your company by investing in your people and yourself. They are your assets, and their individual ability to execute can make or break your project. Taking the time to celebrate your team’s successes along this journey will help keep morale high and encourage team buy-in.
Ensure Successful Technology Implementation
No matter where you might be in your initiative, developing a framework to launch, manage, and execute your software implementation project will get you on track (or back on track!) towards achieving the success of your program. Making sure that you have the right resources and advocacy to set up, manage, and monitor all aspects of the implementation – from early planning to successful execution and realization – will make a big difference.
Is your company planning on implementing new technology intending to transform your business? Is your project team missing any pillars? Is your project suffering?