Getting Software Implementation Right – Sustaining

Software Implementation Sustaining OpsVantage

If you have had the fortitude to endure this series on software implementation, you are rewarded with a short final installment. In prior posts we covered preparing the implementation, selling the implementation, and doing the implementation work. This post covers how to move a customer out of the implementation process and into a healthy sustaining relationship with your company. Graduate If you have ever been on an implementation team you know that it is sometimes nearly impossible to get a customer to stop calling you when they need help. You did a great job making them feel comfortable, well supported and welcome as a new customer…Maybe too good of a job?? … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Implement

OpsVantage Software Implementation

This is the fourth post in the series about Getting Software Implementation Right. We have covered why implementation matters, preparation, and selling. This post picks up after the kick off meeting has occurred, and we are digging into the implementation work. Kickoff recap It was mentioned as a Pro Tip in the last post, but I am going bring it up again because it is SO important. If you are going onsite for the project kick off, bring your implementation team along and require the client to commit to having their team available all day for several days following the kick off meeting. Yep…require the team to be available. If … Read More

Optimize Your Product Investment

An informed organization has the power to take the right actions supporting strategy. Clear shared processes is a great way to build an informed organization. Have you ever seen a great product fail to live up to its potential because it drifted away from its true vision? Have you ever seen a good product fail in the marketplace when small adjustments could have made the difference? If the product development process is aligned with strategy, those responsible can move fast and get the product to market. Whatever the strategy, having a shared understanding of the process allows product development to move fast and meet strategic expectations. As a new product … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Sell

I have never met a salesperson that wants to talk about implementation during the sales cycle…never. “It will kill, slow down, confuse (fill in your own negative verb) the deal!” Well, if the implementation is not trivial, and you don’t tell the customer what to expect: · Best case: They will not trust the salesperson anymore · Typical case: Their order sit in the implementation backlog awaiting them to fund and staff the project · Worst case: They kill the deal after the contract is signed Explaining implementation does not have to get complicated, confusing or frightening. They will have to go through something similar with any solution they choose, … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Prepare

Any software implementation is going to have ups and downs, but your experience and your team’s preparation are critical. Even though it may be the same package you have deployed 100 times, the environment in which your operating is brand new. Being prepared takes on several dimensions of which you must account for them all in order to guarantee success. Creating the Customer Experience Professional services/the implementation team should never define the implementation experience…but they usually do. This responsibility lands squarely with Product Management. Of course, Professional Services must collaborate with Product Management and Finance to determine what level(s) of service is feasible to deliver, but the determination between boot … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Why It Matters

Many software packages don’t require implementation, you simply sign up with a credit card and go. That is a great model because there are usually no long sales cycles, the customer receives value immediately, and revenue recognition starts on month-one. Not all software works that way, especially when it comes to larger packages that are an industry-specific solution or something large like a financial system or ERP. When it comes to a system like that, there are a ton of things that can go wrong that will slow down the implementation, or in the worst situations, end up killing the sale after it’s been made. This blog series is about … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Digitize

OpsVantage - Darker Water

This post is the fourth and final in a series on enabling growth through business architecture. In the first article we covered how and why to understand your business capabilities.  In the second article, I shared about the importance of establishing metrics and controls to understand and manage work. The third post was all about inexpensive and practical ways to train people involved in doing the brute force work necessary to scale, but has yet to be automated. This article caps the series off with digitization of workflows. Digitization is the automation of existing manual or paper based processes, by digitizing the information.  Even the most technology oriented companies face … Read More

The Strategic Importance of Implementation

Sales provide the essential financial fuel to keep the business going, but after the sale is when the important and often difficult, work of implementation begins. In future posts we will cover some of the mechanics of how to get implementation right, but this post we will start with the strategic importance of why getting implementation right matters. 1. Your customers need implementation to work. The customer has made a strategic decision that the benefits of your product outweigh the benefits of the current situation plus the pain of change. They know not all of their employees will welcome the change and may have even staked their career on this … Read More

Keys to a strong steering committee

OpsVantage - Steering Committee

If you are a project manager implementing B2B software you know the importance of having strong executive support from your company and from the customer’s leadership team; but you also know that getting a strong steering committee established can be a challenge. Of course executives want the project to be successful, but they are exceptionally busy people and sometimes don’t understand or value the importance of their role in a successful project. You may have lead hundreds of meetings, but the steering committee is different. This is a room of smart people who are in too much of a hurry to wander around for an hour – keep it short … Read More