IT projects can be a serious undertaking for companies of any size, and most of the time they tend to take up more time and resources that were originally scoped out for it. With this in mind, how can you ensure your company and team don’t fall into the territory of overcommitments and failed deliveries, achieving the results they set out to accomplish in the time allotted? Our more than 20 years of experience in the industry has helped us gain some insights on the matter, and we’re happy to share them with you:
- Outsource your project: depending on the size of your company, you may count with some IT support internally, which is key to ensuring you constantly evolve your technology and the rest of your employees count on someone that can help them navigate tech issues so they can focus on their work. Your IT resources or teams should be focused on the day-to-day of the company, monitoring customer issues on the backend, etc. IT teams usually can fill their days with operational fixes, and they don’t have the bandwidth to take on a software development project on top of their day jobs. Assigning them this responsibility is a sure way to delay the completion of your implementation. Have them participate on a consultant basis to ensure that everything seamlessly integrates with their roles, but no more than that.
- Choose the right partner: once you look outside of your company for the project, make sure you do your due diligence and research all available options for the project, whether local or international, what level of support they provide, what’s their experience and track record, what their customers say about them, etc. It’s very easy these days to launch a website and offer a product or service, so you need to ensure that these companies can be checked on for credentials elsewhere. Meet with them and be sure that they understand your vision and that are 100% on board with what you want out of the project, so that when the implementation goes live, you’re getting exactly what you paid for. This should be looked at as a joint effort partnership. Partners that come with the option of staff augmentation are a great alternative.
- Run a proper audit: when architects and engineers gather to build a building, they always say the most important part of it is the foundation, because without the proper groundwork, the building can fall apart. The same concept applies to software implementation projects. The infrastructure of the software is the backbone upon which your operations, transactions, relationships, etc. will fall, so it needs to be based on your capabilities today, and your growth trajectory. Auditing your operations and processes in advance will ensure your new approach will be an improvement, and if things are done right, a lot of your processes will be upgraded or replaced altogether. If you and the software team know what you’re getting yourselves into, it’s much easier to estimate an appropriate timeline for the launch.
- Focus on what matters: we’ve said this time and time again, but it’s the truth: technology is here to help people. Whether it’s your employees, your vendors, your board, your customers, your investors – or all of the above, your new implementation should be making a difference in how you interact with all of the audiences that are relevant to your business. Digital transformation is about finding ways for humans to accomplish their goals faster, and if your customers feel like your new interface is a delight and your service is up to par, you will have a very successful transition period. It’s all about people, people, people.
- Be realistic: a lot of companies go into projects expecting to have their entire vision come to life in a matter of weeks. Depending on your current technology compliance levels, your goals, and the level of expectations from your team and customers, some projects might take longer than others, and that’s ok. As long as you know that the end-result is what you’re going to get, you are on the right track. Make sure the rest of the executives and the board are also managing their expectations, and the rest of the process should be smooth sailing.
Yes, there’s a lot of logistical information involved and lots of tips about how to decide whether ready-made solutions are better than custom, or about which technologies to go with for your business, but these five first steps are the key to make the rest of the important details fall into place. Many of our customers are businesses who come to us unsatisfied from previous projects, and we want to help erase as many of the issues involved with these undertakings as possible. If you’re on the fence about any of the tips mentioned here, contact us for an assessment of your company.