Tips for Successful Software Implementation
A well-thought-out plan is a must for successful implementation. What are your needs? Set project objectives and define business goals. What does your company want to achieve? Create a roadmap with timelines. Be sure to set reasonable expectations as there are sure to be bumps in the road. Have a change management strategy for when the unexpected hurdle is discovered. Set a realistic budget. Define your functional and technical requirements. Identify deliverables and establish guidelines for measuring success. Identify key technical and business subject matter experts. Ensure project members understand this is a priority and have the necessary time allocation to effectively participate. Get executive buy-in for the project and the time needed for successful adoption.
Data Conversion and Migration
Clean data will help ensure successful conversion. Inaccurate and misused data will have a negative effect on implementation. You want to ensure that your data is correct, consistent, and usable. Identify inconsistencies in the way fields are used in your legacy systems. Work through changes that were made over time in the way data was entered into the system. You will need to fully understand the source and target data model and create mapping documents and validation practices.
The implementation project should be managed by a project manager and an internal implementation team. It is crucial to define responsibilities and roles, who owns what. The project manager will oversee and manage the project, including:
The internal implementation team should include, at least, an administrator for the new system and a training leader. They will be responsible for communicating with internal teams and keeping staff well informed throughout the project. They will also coordinate user engagement, UAT acceptance, and adoption.
Testing is a critical part of the implementation process. Software testing checks the functional requirements, identifies errors, and assesses usability. Remember, it costs less to fix issues when found early. The technical resources and business resources should have defined test plans that are followed and updated through the implementation phase. These plans are critical for the go-live date to ensure that all components are cut over properly. These plans can even be started prior to having a full understanding of the new system as they will help map out the business processes.
It is important to remember that implementation does not equal adoption. Training is essential to adoption. It is important to offer training that is relevant to each team’s specific needs. It is also important to offer different training options. For example, you could provide lunch and learn training, train the trainer training, peer-to-peer training, or self-guided training.
Trust and Communication
Finally, trust and communication are the keys to implementation success. You need to trust the vendor and trust their recommendations. That does not mean you should not do your own validation and testing. One of the key mistakes of implementing a new system is trying to get it to act exactly like the system you are replacing. While both systems may DO the same thing, HOW they do it may be totally different. Establish project metrics and update meetings for the key stakeholders. Make sure there are open lines of communication throughout the project.
The software implementation process can be challenging. However, with proper planning and management, you can have a very successful implementation. If you want to maximize the value of your new software, make sure you have a solid implementation plan.
About Shaw Systems
Shaw Systems is a leading provider of modern web-based loan servicing and collections software. We have been in business for over 50 years, and we are experts in our industry. We have the reputation, knowledge, and skills to solve your business challenges. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org..