All businesses operate in different ways. Even businesses in the same industry have different standard operations because they aim to get an advantage over the competition. When working with a business partner, it’s important that they understand this in order to seek a solution that will be successful for the specific company they are working with.
It’s important the implementation team understands that the software not only affects the account department (for example) but many other parts of the organization. Therefore, in order to get people to buy in to the new software, it’s important to educate different areas of the company. Even if they don’t use the product directly, they may want, or need, information about the software.
In order for the project to not go over budget, clear objectives must be laid out and explained at the beginning. It is highly important that we can say “this is what we’re going to do, and this is the amount of time it will take.” If we have a good assessment at the beginning of the project it means we have done a proper needs analysis, and therefore the likelihood of cost overrun is extremely small.
There is also the budgeting of time. Time is valuable – meaning that some people not only have to do their regular jobs, but also have to be a part of the software implementation – which can be an extremely challenging process. Always factor this is when assessing a realistic scope of the project.
Working with a Business Partner
As a business partner, the aim is to make the process as seamless as possible by taking on most of the implementation workload. We also believe that one of the most important qualities in a business partner is honesty. Someone who, for example, is not afraid to tell you if there is a process that is not being done the right way. It’s no use putting in a piece of software that makes that wrong process more efficient. What you need is someone who will let you know that perhaps there’s another alternative for doing something. So you can get to a point where you are doing the right things, the right way.
We need people who are strong enough – business partners, implementation partners – who are confident in what they do to make suggestions and not just be a yes man.