Effective 5-Step Plan for Successful Software Implementation
When it comes to software implementation or migration, the foremost step is to build use case. This is followed by defining your end users and analysing its benefits. Once the analysis is completed from the budget perspective then you need to thing about back-end support. Now this area can be handled by an in-house team or you go ahead and outsource the service from a software development provider.
Before you start with your project, take time to break it down to the smallest unit as possible. By making your project specifications more robust, you will be able to ensure there are lesser discrepancies in it. This will ensure that the end product and your vision match.
Once the project is completed, it is important that you educate your staff on how to integrate it into the current process. If your staffs are not well educated about the new processes, it will affect your ROI negatively.
So, without wasting any time, let’s get into the 5-step plan for implementing software process successfully.
Build a Business Case
In simple terms strategize well. Taking impulsive decisions does not always work well and this applies to businesses too. For smaller businesses they have better chances to experiment but then they have more chance to lose too. In case of larger corporations, it is difficult to make implementation as everything does not move as a single entity and something always lags behind.
So whatever be the kind of the business you are into, reach out to your targeted audience and collect their input. Try to understand their pain points and build your use case around it. Like everything else you need to have a value proposition. You should know what you can gain and what you can lose?
Remember every effort is focused on return on the investment and we fail to remember it sometimes. We only think about it when the software implementation returns less than what we expected.
Just like returns, investments can come in all shapes and sizes. So you should be clear about your intentions. If you want monetary benefits you should also think about the unexpected costs in terms of investments. When calculating investments you should also take in resources and time, and the expenditure. Many of the software fail just because the calculated ROI is erroneous.
Choose Your Development Partner Wisely
Once you have broken down the software acquisition details at the granular level your will know the project parameters clearly. By having detailed and clear requirements you will be able to ensure your vision and project execution stays together when heading towards the implementation plan. At this stage you need to find the right development partner who is capable to offer the right amount of support you need. If your company has no in-house resources for the job go for outsourcing firms who can offer you overall services.
You also need to finalize the blueprint for successful implementation.
- Build an ideation board together
- Finalize the business case
- Stay detailed
Avoid Scope Creeps At All Costs
In software development everything is feedback driven. This means nothing is perfect at the first time. When business become fixated at reaching perfection, timelines change and the focus changes too. This even causes doubling of initial investments. This is called as scope creep. This is the process of adding functions or features into the software additionally.
To avoid this, the project development should start by keeping key features and functionalities in mind. Once it is reached, you can carry out with customization over time. This will be the process of improving the software as and how needed.
No software solution will yield favourable ROI in the absence of strong and loyal user base. The success of the software implementation greatly depends on effective adoption wave.
Lack of training and substandard user experience can be considered as the main reasons for poor adoption rates. If you feel that poor user experience is causing lesser adoption then progress your development with the information you collect using user feedbacks.
Poor user experience can lead to lower productivity as the employees will spend more time understanding the software than using it. This means you need to train them and let them know how to use the software. If you wish to go ahead with incremental development, you should plan the training accordingly.
Go For Bespoke
Bespoke solutions are always recommended. If you plan to go for off-the-shelf solution you will need to make the necessary adjustments to make it fit in your business. Once you will start receiving user feedbacks and understand the issues at the first stage, you will need a development team to help you with further incremental changes.
Having support after implementation stage is not must but it is highly recommended. So you need to have a plan for the continuous development of the project and decide whether you need an in-house team for the same or take help of an external development company. An outsource partner will be accountable for any issues that come across later.
Document everything and this is very important in the case where you need to rollback to older version due to a buggy update.