Change is daunting. We’ve all been through it and navigating it alone can be scary. The process of implementing a new software solution within an organization is no exception.
Software implementations carry several challenges and can prove to be lengthy and overwhelming if not managed efficiently. It is for this reason that some organizations decide against making the change at all – which in the long run sees the organization lag in technology uptake and in a competitive technological world, companies cannot afford to fall behind.
It is important to be mindful of a few key points when considering a change from one software solution to another. Inadequate planning and unrealistic expectations of the project can set the project up for failure before it’s off the ground. It is beneficial to be aware of the common challenges presented by a software implementation to be able to plan, reduce and mitigate these risks or avoid them all together.
Resource availability lays the foundation for any project plan. First and foremost, consider the resource of time and how long it will take to complete and successfully implement the solution. Start with the end in mind by identifying a target date for when you intend to be fully “live” on the solution and work closely with your software provider to determine whether these goals are realistic.
Structured Implementation Plan
Any software implementation that lacks a detailed and comprehensive training methodology can be a major setback for any project. The purpose of the methodology is to ensure that clear goals and timeliness are a priority from the start. The plan should be tailored to the specific needs and resource availability of the client and ensure that agreed-upon milestones are met along the way.
Staff resources should be considered and assigned clear roles within the implementation process. Planning on how you will conduct business as usual during the time in which your employees learn, attend training, and migrate to the new system is crucial.
A dedicated team responsible for the implementation of the solution is always desirable, but not always possible. Ensure buy-in from your employees around the need for the change.
Software providers are fully aware of these challenges and work closely with your project team to manage expectations and follow a systematic, structured implementation plan to ensure target dates are met with minimal impact on day to day work.
The appointment of a Super-User is integral to the success of an implementation. An individual to take ownership and to meet regularly with the implementation project manager to ensure timeous completion of tasks and deadlines. The project consultant works closely with the Super-User to meet deadlines and pivot the implementation when the need arises.
Arguably, the most time-consuming part of any software implementation is the migration of data from the legacy system to the new system. Although data migration can be a lengthy process, this provides the opportunity to audit the data in the new system and ensures a clean starting point from which to work. Furthermore, focusing on this part early in the process can help with training efforts and risk reduction.
Now you’ve made the decision to implement a new system. What happens when the implementation is complete?
How will the software vendor continue to support your organization beyond the go-live?
Chances are that even with the most successful of implementations, end-users will require some level of assistance during daily operations. Consider whether the software provider has a dedicated support department or helpdesk and if you have access to ongoing education resources such as webinars, new feature training sessions, or support articles. Factor in how you would train a new hire or enrich your knowledge in a certain area should the need arise. Question if the vendor provide software updates regularly to assist with performance and new features innovation?
At MRI Software, we pride ourselves in providing end-to-end solutions backed by professional implementation and support services to ensure a smooth transition to your desired MRI solution.
We have project implementation processes in place that are tried and tested and continually reviewed; our dedicated teams of consultants are on hand to assist with implementations as well as a support department to attend to your needs after the implementation go-live.
We constantly update our resources to provide you with a wealth of information from up-to-date webinars, training sessions, user conferences, self-help tools, and support articles. We truly are open and connected and ready to assist you with the implementation of our leading real estate software solutions.