Thinking Beyond the Steps to an Implementation
In our previous blog post, we discussed the basic steps to an implementation and what you can expect along the way. And while that article provides a high-level overview of how a project progresses, we felt that it would be even better to give some deeper insight into some of the issues that you’re likely to face along the journey. Failure rates are extremely high for IT projects. The defining factors can’t be explained away as simply a deficiency in the product. Nor can failure be blamed on a lack of skilled resources. So what’s going on? Every project has its ups and downs as we all know, but failure (at least for us) is not an option. So how good a system integrator would we be if we didn’t provide some decent consulting advice? In our experience within the HCM solutions industry, we’ve assembled a portfolio of lessons learned that we love to share with our current and future clients.
Preparing Before the Steps to an Implementation
A great deal of planning goes into each project. But a common mistake companies make is in thinking that they can do everything all at once. The first question you should ask (and answer) is: “how realistic is the timeline versus the anticipated outcomes?” Beyond the principal steps to an implementation, there are incremental issues that should be addressed by you and your system integrator. Many tasks can and should be handled by your internal project team before you hire outside help. The result is that you can spend less on your consultants by being prepared.
Clearing the Way for Change
Change won’t happen overnight. Nor will change management. Preparing all stakeholders for change will help you get the ball rolling and gain support for whatever you’re planning. Does everyone understand how a new HCM solution will affect their work? Do they understand the strategy and business plan that has led to the decision to install new technology? Oftentimes, change isn’t simply about learning how to use a piece of software, it’s about embracing a new mindset, a new outlook for the business.
Be Confident in Your Plan and Your Team
The more confidently you embrace an anticipated IT project, the more confidently your team will embrace it as well. Read this Harvard Business Review article to learn more why, “the key to high performance lay not in the content of a team’s discussions but in the manner in which it was communicating.” Remember: there’s a big difference between communication and engagement. You may be satisfied that an emailed memo is a sufficient medium to get your message across. However, this does little to allay the professional and personal concerns of employees who may feel disconnected from the process as well as the reasoning behind the decision.
Change provides upper management with a great opportunity to listen to their team, to field concerns and to build trust as they all work collaboratively to address each of the steps to an implementation. We took the top 5 lessons learned that we’ve encountered in our experience and presented them in an insightful guide. To understand and learn how to avoid some of the typical pitfalls, download Top 5 Issues That Can Prevent a Successful Implementation. Tell us what you think are your main issues going into an IT project and let’s figure it out together.