Impact of adhering to implementation strategies
Anyone that delivers solutions understands the importance of identifying the core problem statement. Seems obvious, but without a written problem statement on which you can base your requirements, you risk continuous adjustments, delays and possibly moving further away from delivering what was clearly defined in the problem statement. While these frequent adjustments and deviation may seem like a good idea at first, teams often do not consider how these delay solution delivery weeks, months and even years. Winning implementation strategies drive happy referenceable customer outcomes.
Below are guidelines that we follow at Suuchi to ensure successful onboarding onto our SCM Platform “GRID”.
Allow time upfront for discovery and securing the problem statement.
It is imperative to spend enough time early in the project for discovery. Every customer’s business model is unique. Whether the software in question is turnkey subscription based or an advance enterprise platform, in most industries no two customers do business the same way. In addition to investing time prior to purchasing, it is important to peel the onion back a few layers in implementation to ensure success. The time spent confirming the problem statement and identifying potential gaps will pay dividends at the end of the project. Though customers may be anxious to get into the meat and potatoes, it’s the right way to approach implementations.
Enable a project manager with signoff authority.
One of the main reasons projects fail is a delayed coordination of requests from the client to your team. Customers often lack an internal project manager to spearhead the project and relay requirement requests from multiple teams. This can cause delays, false starts on delivering requirements that aren’t actually a priority, and confuse the overall team. A project manager that has the authority to approve, reject and realign the multiple teams is crucial to success. It is extremely difficult for end users to separate and bucket their needs into ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’. They will want it all. Ultimately, it’s important for the project manager to control requests and provide clarity on what success means for this project.
Clearly communicate project plan and implementation strategies.
On more than one occasion, I have run into situations where projects become out of sync. The technology used to manage the project plan, lack of necessary updates to the plan, and a poor plan to begin with are common misses in implementation projects. Most failed projects stem from a poor plan. Although it seems obvious, many businesses rush into projects without clearly defining the project plan. Don’t fall into this trap. The key here is to start out with a clear understanding of what must be accomplished for the success of the project and what is the problem you are solving. These requirements are the ‘must haves’. Because of this, teams place everything else into buckets based on priorities and dependencies. This straightforward process allows teams to clearly define what is being delivered and what will be managed in subsequent deliveries.
When you start with a clear problem statement, a solution based on adequate discovery time, project management support from the client, and a clear project plan, you will find that your success rate will increase. Anyone would be lying to you if they told you that every single project, they have worked on was a success. The best you can do is learn from your mistakes. Reflect, take clear notes, and spend the extra time needed in creating a reusable process.
Thanks for spending the few minutes reading this. My hope is that this simple article will stir up some dormant ideas in your next project that will lead to its success. You can read more about our team at Suuchi Inc and the work we do here. Check out this other Forbes article highlighting cause and effects of failed software implementations.