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A software implementation is one of the trickiest operations for a company. Especially when the new software is very comprehensive and is rolled out to multiple locations.
The buying decision has been made and implementation is imminent? Now you and your team face a complex set of tasks with numerous potential mistakes and stumbling blocks. Without sound planning, well thought-out training, smooth data migration, and a perfectly timed rollout, the introduction of the new software is on shaky ground.
In the following, we present seven project phases for a successful software deployment. This can serve as a kind of blueprint that facilitates this project.
Before you deploy any software, keep in mind - as with any large-scale project - that you will probably be confronted with unforeseen problems. Sound planning minimizes the risk of errors during software implementation and forms the first phase of the project.
Draft a script or storyboard that will serve as a common thread to guide you and your team through the process. This should include the following points:
There are two different approaches to software implementation. Decide in advance!
Every system is only as good as its user. Sound training is the key to success. A proven approach is to first train a small group of "key users" who then train other employees as multipliers in a cascade system. Ideally, training key users should be completed shortly before the software is introduced. Conduct regular follow-up training sessions and open feedback opportunities for the users.
Transfer of existing data must be planned down to the smallest detail. Good preparation is essential. Work out a repeatable data migration process that you run again and again in a test environment to find and resolve any problems before going live. This process can be very time-consuming and should be tackled at an early stage.
Sometimes the legacy system is switched to a "read-only mode" for a pre-rollout in order to migrate data with minimal risk because the data in the legacy system cannot change mid-migration.
Software rollout is usually not an overly long process, but it does entail many opportunities for mistakes. Follow these seven steps:
In this phase, the project team hands over the direction of the system to the responsible department / person. Set up at least three different support levels – both internally (the business) and externally (the vendor).
To be able to react immediately to problems after software implementation, constantly monitor the new software / system. Network load, memory consumption and system load, user behavior, data quality, and process throughput times must be observed. All those indicators contribute to optimizing the new software.
The key component of an optimally executed software deployment is you and your team. Early involvement of the IT department is a key success factor.
It is essential to inform and bring all project participants on board early on and not overload them with additional tasks. Implementation can only be managed correctly if every team member is focused on the task at hand. Unless absolutely necessary, be sure to avoid staff turnover during the software implementation. Document and justify your decisions and communicate them with your team. If you get stuck, call on external expertise.
During implementation of our empower® MS Office add-in suite, our experts are of course at your side and help your software introduction succeed - from customizing to user training to final roll-out.