Managing the implementation of complex systems is a specialist task. Of course, there will be technical issues to be overcome and many people see this as the area where most problems will emerge. However, whilst technical issues can be frustrating, handling people issues is generally far more testing. The successful implementation of a system depends much more upon solving people and logistical problems than anything else.
This will come as no surprise to anyone who has implemented a major information system. Having invested time, effort and resources selecting the ‘right’ system clearly the implementation needs to be managed to the highest standards.
Is this relevant to me?
If you are planning to implement a new system soon then this service is relevant to you. You will be looking to implement the system quickly, effectively and with the minimum disruption to your business. In particular you will want to avoid the common pitfalls of system implementation including:
- the implementation stalling at Phase 1, a partial implementation covering only a limited sub-set of the envisaged scope
- continual delays in the project often leading to ballooning costs, disillusionment and loss of interest
- general disappointment with the capability of the system vs expectations set pre-sale
- users disillusioned with the system after all the effort they put into helping to implement it
- training and implementation support resources found to be insufficient leading to processing difficulties and visibility of the failures to outside agencies
- major operational problems after go-live caused by poor preparation and resulting in poor customer service, loss of income or major cost penalties. This can even cause the go live to be aborted, forcing the company back to the old system.
These and other common problems can be avoided by ensuring that all aspects of the implementation are properly managed by people with extensive experience of this type of project.
What is involved?
We can provide assistance and advice at several levels. A high level view needs to be maintained so that executive sponsors of the project have a clear overview of the status of the project including budget and timescale issues.
At a day-to-day level we can provide experienced advice and guidance to project teams to help ensure that their efforts are coordinated and the project is executed effectively. A Project Manager with an eye for detail, and experience of how these projects run in practice, can also spot things going wrong well before they impact the project.
We can also help to ensure that end users are involved, trained properly and re-assured because ultimately, it is the user that will determine the success of the project.
For all of this you need an experienced, independent, Project Management resource.
- multi-level project management keeps all parties up-to-speed with the project at a relevant level of detail — no unintelligible techno-babble, no glossing over the issues, no surprises
- proper and timely input of the issues at risk helps to ensure that timescales and budgets are properly managed and objectives achieved
- experience of what needs to be done, and when, helps to ensure that hard pressed internal resources are used effectively &mdash no project management by trial and error