Five keys to ensuring a successful technology implementation

By - November 3, 2016

Implementing a technology system, such as an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system,  is a fairly major undertaking, and can often be disruptive to normal business functions. Because businesses typically seek to reap the benefits of a consolidation or upgrade project as soon as possible, timing is of the essence. The duration and success of implementations, however, depends on a variety of factors.

Following are five key areas to address to ensure a successful technology implementation or optimization project.

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  1. Planning: Align all players, internal and external, around the project goals, objectives, plan and roles/responsibilities.
  • Clearly define goals and objectives
  • Clearly define what is in and out of scope
  • Ensure time and budget estimates are reasonable
  1. Team structure and organizational support: Build the right team and implement a governance structure and project management office. Key roles on the team include:
  • Project sponsor
  • Steering committee members
  • Project manager
  1. Data management: Take steps to address data integration, conversion and history. These may include:
  • Cleansing data
  • Identifying key information
  • Re-aligning data for future use
  • Tying to legacy data to perform reporting and comparison
  • Integrating to other legacy systems (both internal and external)
  1. Organizational change management: Implementing a new system is one of the most disruptive initiatives a company can embark upon. Employees’ roles and responsibilities change, processes are redefined, and the system people are used to is changing. Managing communication and end user adoption is vital to success. Be sure to have:
  • An adequate and clearly-defined training plan with time for knowledge transfer
  • Clear communication to end users throughout the project
  • A plan to assess your organization’s readiness before going live
  1. Project management: This topic should not be overlooked and solid project management is the best way to ensure the desired business results are achieved. Don’t just focus on the “how’s,” of the project; remember the “whys.” We want people to think critically, ask questions, push back, and work as a team to deliver the best possible outcome. To accomplish this, ensure that:
  • Implementation is well-managed, in regards to budget, resources, activities and timing
  • Project has a change process in place
  • Risks are identified and mitigation steps are outlined
  • Communication is clear and consistent
  • Facilitation and coordination of project resources and business decisions related to the project are managed effectively

To learn more about how RSM can assist you with your other business needs, contact RSM’s management consulting professionals at 800.274.3978 or email us.

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