Ensure a Successful Rollout With an Optimized Approach
While implementing purpose-built, configured-off-the-shelf software can be a fast way to introduce new technology to your team, it’s important to take critical steps to ensure that the solution is effective. Moreover, an intelligent, adaptable approach to implementation is essential to achieving two key configuration goals:
- Developing an end solution that is in line with your team’s processes
- Ensuring that the project remains within budget and on schedule
Here are some key considerations for implementing purpose-built, configured-off-the-shelf software:
- Thinking With the End In Mind: It is essential to have a clearly defined set of requirements – people, processes, and systems. This involves investing time and effort into gathering and comprehending those needs, and then utilizing them to assess the capabilities of Orbit. Once you have a clear understanding of your process requirements and how they can be integrated into the system, mapping out the necessary functionality for all stakeholders, from upper management to day-to-day users.
- Process optimization: An assessment of the current state and what that will look like at the completion of implementation (future state). This involves reevaluating existing processes and identifying opportunities to improve them using the new software. By streamlining current business processes to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve overall performance, bearing in mind the end goal (future state). By optimizing processes during software implementation, businesses can not only achieve greater efficiency and productivity but also position themselves for long-term success by leveraging the full potential of their systems.
- Data Migration and Integration: In mapping out the process, consider the data that needs to be migrated, which data is critical to the business and needs to be cleansed, mapped out, and tested. Ensuring that the data is accurate, complete, and consistent – removing duplicates, standardizing data formats, and resolving error or inconsistencies. (Agile, flexible, iterative)
- Effective Training: Training is essential to ensuring that users can effectively use the new software. Clear communication about how the system works, what the expected outcome are, with accessible and user-friendly training materials, plus hands-on training and opportunities for users to practice using the system. Last but not least, having ongoing support after the initial training period gives users the opportunity to address issues they’ve encountered when using the system in their day-to-day work. It’s essential to have a support system in place that can address these issues quickly and effectively.
- Monitor and measure success: Once the software is deployed (live), it’s important to monitor its performance and measure its success. By assessing performance, this can identify issues and/or areas for improvement, further providing insights into how the system is being used and where additional training or support may be needed.
A Structured Yet Flexible Approach
As an Implementation Manager, my team and I make it a priority to have a thorough understanding of your business’ background and requirements all the way through to the desired future state. This means taking the time to gather, understand, and leverage those needs against the functionality of Orbit. Addressing questions like – What do you need and want from your product or service? What processes do you need to put in place to meet these requirements? With a solid understanding of the process, needs, and how that will work in the system, we then start to map out that functionality through process optimization. The primary objective is to minimize the manual workload for end-users, making their day-to-day activities more efficient and streamlined, without overwhelming them with new processes and procedures to learn.
The process needs to be agile, with frequent communication and collaboration among team members. At Orbit, our methodology allows for an iterative approach that takes incremental steps – configure, pressure test, adjust, proceed – that allows for constant feedback and perspective from key stakeholders. Overall, this agile process is designed to enable teams to quickly and effectively respond to changing requirements and feedback, and to deliver high-quality software in a timely and efficient manner.
It’s important to evaluate whether everything in the current process can be replicated in the future system. If not, what changes are needed? Are there any issues with the current workflow? To address these questions, it’s necessary to determine who will be performing the tasks, how they will appear in the system, and how many tasks are anticipated. These questions not only consider the end-users early on, but drives the needs and priorities, serving as a guide throughout the lifecycle of the project. The key considerations are the: business needs, user needs, and the timeline. Ultimately, we are gathering critical stakeholder buy-in early and throughout the process, which is essential for successful rollout.
Coupled with stakeholder buy-in is the use of the system. After all, if the users don’t understand how to use the platform, it can’t be successful. We understand that system-use is critical in successfully implementing our platform. Our training sessions provide users with ample time to ask questions, practice system-use techniques, and get all the necessary support to best utilize the system. This ensures that users are comfortable and confident when using the software so they can get up and running quickly. As the saying goes, “preparation is only as good as its performance and execution.”
Finally, keep in mind that adopting new software can sometimes require a mindset change. Be open to the idea of shifting the way you work to take advantage of the opportunities to proactively develop and manage your processes in a holistic manner. Orbit works with you to align your processes in a way that makes most sense.
Your Process in Orbit
As project timelines are getting shorter, and teams are getting more distributed, there is a growing need for a solution that can keep up with the changing environment. Keep the end in mind and think about the stakeholders that will be using the software as you address questions like, “What do we need input at this step…?”?”or “Who should be involved?”?” The answers to these questions like these will guide you in successfully implementing a new system while ensuring that your system will accommodate your business’ growth and easily adapt to changing regulatory requirements. Overall, one of the most critical elements to a successful implementation is thinking with the end in mind. With a solid framework of your process needs and functionality in the system, the rest of the best practices follow – process optimization, data migration, training, success measures or post-implementation follow-up. The ongoing support and monitoring the system’s performance, ensures that the system remains effective and efficient in the long run.
Inquire more about building your processes in Orbit here.