When you think about how business was conducted five years ago – what big differences stand out from today? Chances are your thoughts first turn to the development and implementation of different technologies to automate and streamline your processes. And while you might not think the business world has really come that far in that short of time, you’d be shocked to know that just half a decade ago:
- Social media was still fighting to integrate with consumerism
- Cell phones were primarily being used for casual amusement by the general public rather than business, work, or commerce applications
- Cloud-based solutions were virtually nonexistent for small to mid-sized businesses
- The App Generation was just being born
- Early attempts at omnichannel marketing were struggling to catch on.
The staggering rate at which technology is developing, mutating, and adapting is so rapid that it’s easy to get swept up in the undertow of progress. Unfortunately, this exponential rate of technological development also means that many companies aren’t fully prepared to take on software implementation projects. In fact, a study from IAG Consulting found that only 32% of all IT projects are actually completed successfully, deeming 68% of the success of technology projects “improbable.”
To avoid making common mistakes that lead to project failure in your own office, it’s helpful to understand the three major pitfalls that often occur with new system implementation and how you can make the proper adjustments to avoid similar mistakes.
1. Failure to Understand Current Processes and Use the Right People
Failure to include processes and people during the planning of software implementation can be detrimental. But by having a fundamental understanding of the processes your company is currently using and conducting a detailed analysis of daily operations, you can better assess how these functions translate into new system requirements.
Before choosing a software program to implement, ask yourself, “What does my unique organization require in a system to make it successful?” Having a high-level of understanding about what improvements you wish to see will not only allow you to formulate detailed system requirements, but it will also enable you to call on the right people to help implement the software successfully.
2. Automating Inefficient or Ineffective Processes
During your detailed process analysis be sure to note any processes that are convoluted or inefficient. These processes, especially those that are performed manually, typically won’t function any better when automated and will ultimately result in a failed implementation that costs your company a significant amount of time and money. So before you go about implementing a new software system into your business, take the time to reexamine current workflows and make the necessary adjustments to upgrade and streamline these efforts.
3. Unrealistic Implementation Timelines
Companies who attempt to replace an ancient system in a matter of a few weeks or months tend to almost always fail. To avoid this failure yourself, it’s imperative that your company allocate a generous amount of time to analyze, design, plan, test, and execute the implementation process.
The average time to implement Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software, for example, is 18.4 months, with much of this timeframe reflecting the point when people within the business begin to lose enthusiasm and energy. Be sure to also account for the fact that there will likely be various “unknowns” involved with the process that will also eat up a decent amount of time.
Your Key to Successful Software Implementation
Implement new software successfully with the help of professionals at Elite Ops. Not only will Elite Ops ensure your business thrives with the most up-to-date software, but by offering a variety of other beneficial services, Elite Ops can also help your company streamline workflows and grow your bottom line.