Depending on a company’s size and available resources you might choose different ways of managing your implementation. After some time has passed, the implementation is succesfull and the application is live. Time to reap the benefits. However, we can all agree that we have the impression that most technology implementations today fail to realize the full potentional described in the business case. We list the 4 main causes for you to consider in your next implementation.
NOT ENOUGH INVOLVEMENT OF END-USER COMMUNITY
A lot of companies forget to involve the end-users throughout the complete life cycle of the implementation. It is crucial to involve the end-users from start to finish. Before even starting the implementation, you should have an answer to questions like; What do they do? How do they do it? How much time do they spend doing it? Where are the pain points when doing it? Is there another more efficient way to get the same outcome? … During the implementation it is important to adress this feedback and to have regular alignment and feedback sessions. After all, the end-users must use and support the implemented solution fully in order to reach the full potential. It should make their work easier and not more difficult.
NO PROPER CHANGE MANAGEMENT
The impact of proper change management is often underestimated. The extremes being cases where it is not managed at all or where the community is promised the world. It is important to be realistic in your change/expectation management. It requires a pro-active and structured approach. You should invest time to analyze your organisation’s risk and readiness for change; design and execute a communication strategy; conduct job impact analyses; design transition programs; align the objectives throughout the whole organisation; ... but most of all, motivate your team to embrace the change.
NO PROPER USER ACCEPTANCE TESTING (UAT)
The main purpose of the UAT is to validate the implemented solution against the business requirements. For this reason, this validation should be carried out by a wide group of end-users who are familiar with the business requirements, but who were not necessarily involved during the implementation (excl. End-User research). End-users who were not involved during implementation have no knowledge of design decisions and can provide a more realistic insight into how the application will be perceived and used by the community. It is also required to make a solid UAT plan where you gather the key acceptance criteria, define the scope, set out the responsibilities and include exceptions and performance testing.
MISSING POST-IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
The implementation is not finished after Go-Live. Your objective wasn’t to simply deliver a process or technology solution, BUT to deliver a process or solution that addresses the specific business requirements set.
Now you need to determine whether the project goals were achieved, determine the satisfaction of the stakeholders, check in with the end-users and identify areas for further development, identify lessons learned, determine the project’s cost and benefits, etc.
An implementation is never really finished, and will keep growing and evolving over time. In order to keep growing the right way, this growth needs to managed.
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