Very rarely do big software implementation projects go off without a hitch – especially when you’re implementing whole-of-business software solutions like CRMs or ERPs.
Therefore, it’s always in your best interest to be proactive and plan for potential challenges. Being complacent will mean you’re forced to react with haste when they do arise, often sending you over your deadline or your budget – or both!
Having overseen hundreds of implementation projects across Australia and NZ, here are some of the most common software implementation mistakes I’ve observed others making, and how to avoid them.
Common software implementation mistakes | #1:
You don’t set the right expectations with your client
Don’t let Sales set unrealistic expectations. Instead, involve a Technical resource at the start of the process to set the scope.
When your Sales team is trying to get a project over the line, all too often they make promises you can’t realistically deliver on – just to get a signature on the contract. Even when it’s done with the best of intentions, it still puts your technical implementation team in a tough spot and they’re doomed from the onset, as they’ll fail to meet the expectation set up by Sales.
At HARMONiQ, we always make sure to involve a technical resource early in the implementation process, in addition to a salesperson. This ensures that while you’re selling, you’re also helping to set the scope and expectations according to what can realistically be achieved by the technical team.
Common software implementation mistakes | #2:
You lack a clear plan and process
By lacking a clear plan for the implementation, you’re easily diverted from the overall goal by conflicting priorities and deadlines.
One of the most common mistakes I see is a lack of an implementation plan. How often do you rely on the client to dictate priorities, or take an ad-hoc approach to the project?
The problem with this approach is that it ultimately fails both you and the client.
For every project, you’ll be inundated with requests from Accounts, Sales, Marketing and more – and if you don’t have a clear plan that maps out the implementation step-by-step, it’s all too easy to get side tracked by other people’s priorities, and you’ll fail to set the right foundation. In the end, you’ll be over deadline, over budget, and left with no time for training and on-boarding staff.
The solution? Have a clear implementation plan, and stick to it! To see how we do it at HARMONiQ, download our Channel Partner Pack, for an example of our step-by-step implementation plan.
Common software implementation mistakes | #3:
You neglect change management
Avoid negative feedback and unhappy users by involving a key set of users in your implementation process.
People intrinsically dislike change – especially when it involves processes and routines they’ve worked with for years. As software implementers, change management is a big part of what we do – but you’d be surprised at how many of us neglect it completely. Neglecting change management opens you up to negative feedback and poor uptake once the project is completed.
At HARMONiQ, we overcome this by getting user buy-in from the beginning. Part of our implementation process is to get a group of users from various departments involved in each step. Diversity is important here, as they’ll act as our ‘change managers’ on the ground – informing other staff of updates and what to expect. By doing frequent user-testing and getting feedback throughout the implementation, we can fix potential issues early on, while also getting buy-in and user accountability right from the get go. We’ve found that this approach helps alleviate any pain when things finally go-live.
If you found these tips helpful, or want more resources to help you better implement software more effectively for your clients, download the HARMONiQ Partner Pack to get the full overview of how we equip our Partners to better serve their clients – including revenue streams, sales and marketing support, and of course, implementation support.
If you’re looking for a new platform to revolutionise and refresh your software offering for clients, request a demo of HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software. It’s a customisable, powerful, but easy-to-use platform that combines accounting, inventory, sales, marketing and more. See it in action with a customised demo for your clients’ needs.
Drew Arthur is the Managing Director of Micronet Systems, and is focused on working with accountants and professional services providers to help their clients tune their businesses by leveraging cutting-edge technology. If you want to help your clients gain further efficiencies within their business while boosting your own revenue, request a demo to see how HARMONiQ Business Tuning Software can make a difference to their business and your own.