Project Consulting: Failure Should Not Be An OptionHow to avoid failed software implementations.
Why is failure always considered a bad thing except for software implementations?
Why is it that businesses continue to have failed software implementations?
Yet these businesses decides to easily caulk it up as if… it’s a big deal, but not a BIG deal.
As a FYI we also consider failed implementation as not being on time or not being within budget.
Before any project is started more businesses should be thinking failure. Leaders should ask the question "What factors will cause this project to fail?" Thinking failure from the beginning is important. This can and will mitigate failed software implementations. Why is that you may ask. It's because failure will always be a fresh concern of the leader. A fresh concerns will not let a good project manager overlook potential issues. Below we are providing three simple steps we follow to avoid failed software implementations.
1. Define Your Process.
Document or develop the process you want to duplicate. Create swim lanes so that the teams knows the detailed process. You can find an example by clicking (HERE Swim Lanes).
2. Test Your Process
If you have not done so test the process using the swim lanes only. Go by step by step in the swim lanes to ensure nothing is missed. Every step in the process is captured, duplicated and tested. A great place to test the process is in MS Excel. Yes I know I railed against Excel in our previous post. However, Excel is a good intermediary tool to quickly edit a process.
3. Take it Slow, Slow Down, Pump Your Break!
No matter what you call this step. Take your time don’t rush and trust the process. Once you have selected your software company take it slow. Be deliberate, surgical and do not settle for good enough. There will be work around in the process and software. Please make sure you hold everyone accountable including yourself. This seems trivial, but meet at the scheduled times, understand your RACI. (Click HERE for definition of a RACI Chart).
Many businesses will say they have done these 3 and more (believe me there are more steps than the 3 we listed). We have experienced many companies biggest issue is not defining their internal process. When this isn’t done up front and correctly executing step 2 and 3 is merely going through the motions. This can lead to another area we did not talk about… scope creep (not correctly defining the goals and expectations of a project).