Blog May 23, 2022

It Takes Two Hands to Clap

By Syed Ali

For a software implementation project to be successful, it needs the total involvement of and commitment from both the solutions provider and the end user’s business.

While it is important to evaluate and decide on good quality software, it is just as important for the business to clearly map out its requirements against the functionality provided by the software.

However, the buyer’s responsibility does not just start and end with the evaluation and decision to buy the most appropriate software.

Many software deployments have gone astray solely because the buyer’s organization has failed to get involved and commit to the project. The business needs to clearly define a designed contact person and assign a project steering group that will be responsible for ironing out any implementation-related issues, both with the vendor and the business users.

There will always be hesitation and resistance when adopting new software. Some users will want certain business processes to be performed in the same way they have been for many years. Some users will resist just because of the challenges of learning new software.

This is where a top-down approach goes a long way to successfully drive implementation projects forward. Management must deliver a clear and consistent message across the organization about their commitment to ensure the smooth implementation of new software. It is important for the business to create a group of super users who acquire deep knowledge of the software and who become the first point of support for the business users.

There is often a tendency for users to request customisations before using the software in a live capacity. It’s always better for the business to resist at this point unless these changes are generally agreed to be business critical. The best approach is to consolidate and document all requests and evaluate them six months after the software Go-Live.

At that six-month point, businesses are nearly always surprised that those critical customization-needs do not even qualify as requirements anymore, and a new set of requirements may well have arisen. It is better to adopt this approach as it ensures a Go-Live within the agreed timeframes and the customisations are only considered after a proper qualification process.

The Standish Group Chaos Report states that only 29% of IT implementations are successful. A good reason for this statistic is the lack of effort invested in evaluating whether a vendor is willing and able to work closely with the team throughout the entire implementation process.

Both the solutions provider and the buying organisation share the responsibility for ensuring that the software is adopted successfully: it is this relationship that can deliver a successful Go-Live.

MRI Intermodal has successfully completed over 100 global software deployments. Our comprehensive tank operating, tank leasing and container leasing/trading products are well complemented by our structured approach to requirement mapping followed by a tried, tested and proven implementation methodology