A guide on how to run successful implementation projects
Many companies want to improve and streamline their budgeting, forecasting and reporting processes by implementing better corporate performance management solutions. However, leaving familiar spreadsheets and old ways of working can be daunting for many organizations. But it doesn’t have to be - a new system should save you time and make your processes more efficient.
However, setting up a new solution always requires some project management. Connecting data sources, setting up the structures and logic, as well as adapting the solution to your organization, all need to be taken into consideration. Our Product Specialist Martin Pawlowski has driven many customer projects and knows how to run them successfully. We’ve met up with him to get the essentials on how to maximize the value of your implementation project.
Martin, what is the basic rule to follow when starting up a new implementation project?
To start planning on time. It’s one of the most important parameters when implementing or upgrading a new business system. The setup can take longer than one might think, therefore always make sure that there is some space in the project planning for unforeseen events.
Another rule is to make sure that you have a dedicated project group working o the project. It can consist of different roles, therefore it’s important that all parties know what’s expected from one another.
It is also important to remember not to go live with the solution during holidays such as summer vacation, Christmas holidays, etc.
Is there a checklist, or a few basic steps, to follow when creating a project plan?
The project plan needs to consist of at least three parts: what should be done, when it should be done and who should do it. It’s important not only to plan on a general level, but also to include the specific tasks that need to be done. This isn’t always done, which can lead to delays in the project - and increased costs.
What are the common pitfalls when implementing a new corporate performance management solution?
The absolute biggest mistake is to miss out on proper testing before going live with the solution. Another mistake is that the lack of clarity in the project planning phase, which leads to consequences in the form of lacking functionality or missing features.
How can they be avoided?
When it comes to testing, I recommend setting up case scenarios, where different people test their respective areas of responsibility. It’s also important to make conscious “errors” and see if the solution behaves as planned.
Regarding the clarity in the project planning, it’s important to ensure that all parties have understood the scope of what needs to be done. Also, you need to ensure that all the features that you would like are included in the project planning, and that you have provided clear specifications about how they should work.
All organizations want to save time. How can projects run in the fastest and smoothest way possible?
The absolute biggest factor is precision. If you set the right expectations and ensure “commitment” from the project group, you are very likely to have a successful project.
Thank you, Martin, for your valuable input!