Implementing Business Software Systems: Key Factors for Successful Implementation, Part 2

 

Excellent Project Team

 

A good project team is also crucial to the success of a new business system. The team should consist of appropriately skilled and experienced representatives from each of the affected business areas and IT.

 

The implementation team are important because they, together with the project manager, put together the detailed implementation plan and then make sure it’s carried out. The team make decisions on behalf of the people they are representing and get assistance and involvement from their department when necessary.

 

If the team isn’t up to scratch, unrealistic timescales may be set. Any poor decisions that are made could cause delays to the project, or even cause problems when the system is up and running, as can not getting timely assistance and involvement from the appropriate departments.

 

Appropriate Software Selected

 

The business software selected is fundamental to the success of the system. Undertaking a thorough evaluation of potential solutions and suppliers is vital in making sure that the most appropriate software solution is chosen.

 

If the chosen solution is a poor fit to the needs of the business, the expected benefits are less likely to be realised in full. If the chosen solution doesn’t do everything required, it will need to be adapted to fit the business or the business will need to be adapted to fit the solution. This could result in the costs outweighing the benefits. This situation is also more likely to lead to problems when the system comes on line. In extreme cases, a poor fitting solution can lead to the project and the new system being abandoned.

 

Prepared for Change

 

The introduction of a new system will inevitably mean changes to the way in which some people work. Not only will they need to use the new system, but they are likely to have to follow new, possibly less flexible, processes and procedures as well.

 

Preparing people for the changes that the new system will bring and getting their acceptance can be challenging, but is also vital to the success of the project.

 

Providing thorough training is crucial here, as is getting the affected people involved in the project early on. If people are not properly prepared for the changes that the new system will bring, and you don’t have their buy-in, they may resist using it.

 

Senior managers often don’t appreciate that the introduction of a new computer system could change the way the company operate, and see the implementation of a new business system as an IT project. However, since the purpose of the project should be to improve the business, the implementation should be driven by the business and change management activities included in the project.

 

For further information on Implementing Business Software Systems please contact Alison Barnes at Greenbeam Consulting Ltd on 0843 523 5630 or email alison@greenbeamconsulting.co.uk