defining-it-project-successPart 1 of 5

I have a series of 5 posts planned under the topic, “I’ve Got D-Tools…Now What??!! The basis for this comes from a webinar I gave a few years back and am strongly considering bringing it back. I actually stumbled across it while cleaning up some files on my computer and I’m using this opportunity to expand on it. Although I’m focusing on D-Tools, the concept applies to the implementation of any business software solution, ERP, CRM, whatever you want to call it.

Understanding successful implementation is very important when you are beginning to implement a powerful business application like D-Tools. Here is a definition of successful implementation as it applies to D-Tools: “Effectively deploying and applying D-Tools within your company’s process and realizing the objectives set forth at the time of purchase.” Everything I’m talking about in these series of posts comes back to one central idea: the implementation plan. D-Tools brings together so many areas of your business it is crucial for planning to take place to help effectively realize the benefits of such a powerful tool and allow for those areas to work together in an effective process flow.

Why is an implementation plan important? Most of the common reasons an implementation fails comes down to lack of planning for the implementation process. I know some of you see the word ‘plan’ and shiver. I’m not referring to paralysis by analysis here; a plan does not need to consume you, but needs to provide you with some guidance so you’re not wandering aimlessly.

Here are 5 common reasons implementations fail:

Failure to identify implementation objectives
It is very important at the outset of your implementation to identify exactly what you are looking to gain by using D-Tools. Without setting specific objectives how do you know when your implementation is successful? [More on this in post 2]

Failure to plan the implementation process
Would you try to drive cross-country without a map? (OK some of you might but that’s not my point) Mapquest for Software Implementation: you need a plan of how you are going to accomplish your objectives. [More on this in post 3]

Inadequate resource allocation to the project
Business management software does not implement itself and you need to realize that return on investment (ROI) does not simply just occur…it takes some work! Be realistic with your timelines. [More on this in post 3]

No emphasis on user education
It’s difficult to make implementation decisions without understanding the process flow provided by the software. D-Tools is flexible, however, it follows a process. Understanding this process is key to implementation and use! [More on this in post 3]

No plan for ongoing maintenance
D-Tools is a database driven system and need maintenance/ management to remain effective. Think of it like a haircut…without one on a regular basis you might start to look like this:

caveman

The remaining posts in this series will help to paint a clearer picture for you on these concepts:

  • Post 2 – Completing an Implementation Assessment
  • Post 3 – The Implementation Plan
  • Post 4 – Successfully Executing the Implementation Plan
  • Post 5 – Ongoing Maintenance and Optimization