Key Elements for a Successful System Implementation
Successful system implementation is more than just creating a new application. Careful assessment, planning and communication efforts are crucial to ensuring the successful transition to any new system. With over 25 years experience in complex, large-scale, and small business implementation, Courtland Consulting can help your organization with a well-planned and cost-effective transition.
Whether implementing a software system or a human services project, our expert consultants employ tried-and-true implementation models to ensure the success of your project. Courtland’s implementation expertise follows “best practices” in three crucial areas: assessment and planning, outreach and communications and customer support.
How does planning begin?
- Develop relationships between your project staff and stakeholders. This provides a solid foundation on which to build success.
- Assess existing policies, procedures, training materials, staffing roles, and organizational structure. We find out where you are today to determine what it will take to get you where you want to be at the project’s end.
- Perform a gap analysis. Compare findings from your assessment with project plans to identify adjustments that may be needed in the migration and training plan for your implementation.
- Manage the gaps. Business process re-engineering, change management, policy analysis and creation, business reorganization, and new procedure definition are just a few of the tools that we employ to manage the gaps we find.
Outreach activities are a critical component of our implementation model. Courtland understands how to achieve acceptance from all stakeholders for a project and that keeping everyone informed regarding progress of the project and other implementation activities is critical to success.
How do I reach out to stakeholders?
- Establish your channels. Determine the best way to reach everyone who needs to be in-the-know. Newsletters, presentations and online web updates are just a few of the outreach activities we have found effective to keep stakeholders in the loop.
- Be regular, consistent and engaging. Send your message on frequent basis using the same methods of communication and stakeholders will come to expect it and even look forward to it. Report on different aspects of the project when possible. A newsletter that is a repeat of the same thing each week will soon be ignored.
- Be clear. Avoid using programmer jargon or technical language that the entire group may not follow. Do spell out new acronyms or define project specific terms.
Communications, training and ongoing support ensure smooth transitions from the onset of implementation through the maintenance phase. Build on prior outreach activities to ensure continued information flow, keeping everyone aware of what is happening now and what is coming next.
How do I provide support after an implementation is underway?
- Provide continuous training. Make training available just-in-time so you learn what you need, when you need it. Use the latest techniques whether it is technical training or soft skills. Consider web-based training as well as traditional methods.
- Provide on-site support. Carefully selected and trained support staff ensure a smooth transition during the first days, weeks and months after your project is implemented.
- Provide remote support. To continue success, don’t leave your stakeholders without assistance. A responsive helpdesk staff makes sure your project continues on the path it was intended and provides a window on the day-to-day results of the effectiveness of your initial implementation activities.
Let’s work together – Contact Courtland today regarding your implementation needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.