9 pitfalls of enterprise software implementation process

9 pitfalls of enterprise software implementation process

Thinking about implementing a software system in your organization? Then be prepared because it is not an easy process. Anything can go wrong while implementing the software. So, you need to be aware of the common pitfalls and understand ways to avoid or correct them.

A project scope statement that aligns all your stakeholders We know that is what you want

Common pitfalls of software implementation

No purpose for implementation of the software 

You must be aware of the reasons why you intend to implement software. You must know what the organization, senior management, and the team want to achieve with this software. In short, you must know its benefits to your operations and what you will miss if it is not implemented.  

So, make it a practice to define the goals behind software implementation. Also, ensure that these goals are easily understood by the management, team members, and the end-users of the software. They must understand what difference the software will bring to their operations.  

To define the objectives for implementing the software, you must study your current processes. Identify the processes that are not contributing to the achievement of organizational goals. Then, understand the loopholes in these processes that derail them or make them ineffective.  

With this understanding, you must find out what kind of solution will make the processes better and efficient. Once you define the software type, you will be able to build a software requirements list for your business. For each requirement, you must define the metrics that measure its achievement.  

All these steps will facilitate the selection of the best software for your process needs. The list of expectations from the software will define a clear purpose behind implementing the software.  

Lack of software implementation plan 

While introducing new software, you need to plan for it. You need to plan the timelines of implementation, costing, and resources required. You must define the stages of implementation and milestones for each stage to measure your success. 

The absence of a software implementation plan leads to misdirected movements and unrealistic expectations. Either the resources are overused or underutilized, harming the final effectiveness. It might lead to duplication of work, unclear roles and responsibilities, delay, or budget overshoot.  

So, you must ensure to prepare a clear and concise plan for implementing the software. For this planning, you must have the requirements document ready to avoid scope creep. You need to appoint a relevant team, outline the software adoption strategy, and define clear goals to achieve.  

Hurry in implementing the software

Over-eagerness to implement the software before time can create problems. Sometimes, clients keep unrealistic deadlines that you may not be able to comply with. Because of the approaching deadlines, the developers just finish off the software with pending features or functionalities.

Even the implementation process is hurried. If the software environment, business processes, and end users’ skills to use the software do not match, it may lead to major losses. So, before the implementation, you must check these factors.

Check if the organization has the relevant infrastructure to accept the new IT solution. Also, find out if the end-users need any training to use the software. You must also check if the software aligns with the business processes that it will improve upon.

Employees’ resistance to change

One of the biggest problems you can face in any software implementation is employees’ resistance to it. Change is difficult for most people as they are comfortable in their present roles and responsibilities. You need effort and time to adjust to it. Not everyone is ready to prepare for it and learn new things to adapt to it.  

For this, the organization or the software team manager must talk to the employees regarding the change. He/she must explain the advantages of the required software to team members. You must conduct one-to-one meetings or workshops to communicate about the change.   

You must explain the: 

  • Implications of the new software on business processes 
  • Possible positive and negative impact on productivity and outcome of the business 
  • Changes in employees’ roles and responsibilities as well as workload 

For all such discussions, you must have open communication so that employees do not fear the change. Encourage the employees to discuss any kind of concern or issues they have regarding the new software implementation. This will reduce or remove any damaging effect on the process of implementing the software.  

Selection of the wrong vendor

If you are implementing the software in-house, selecting the right project manager is crucial. Similarly, if you are hiring a vendor for software implementation, the right vendor makes your project successful. So, be very careful with your selection process.

If you are hiring a vendor, ensure that it understands your industry and your business needs. Also, check their experience in handling similar projects for businesses in the same industry or the same size. An expert vendor will facilitate a quick and effective software implementation.

If you are doing it in-house, select a competent manager with relevant skills to manage the project. A capable manager can ensure the selection of the best team members with the skills to manage such a software implementation project. Also, he/she must be capable of guiding and motivating the team to manage all aspects of implementation effectively.

Absence of training for software use

Your employees or your client are the end-users of the software. Software implementation does not make sense if you do not train them for software use.

So, train all the users of the software and teach them all its features and functionalities. They must be trained well to use it to make the operations efficient, simpler, and faster. If the software is not being used for the key purposes for which it was bought, you cannot achieve the expected outcomes.

You can conduct workshops for employees to learn in a collaborative setting. You can also conduct brainstorming sessions to discuss issues and their resolutions. You can even ask your software experts to conduct one-to-one coaching for specific functions.

There is also the option of self-learning that employees can adopt. They can use the reference guides and videos recommended by the vendor to learn by themselves. Thus, you must provide different training options to your stakeholders so that they are enthusiastic to learn.

Lack of testing

Software development is crucial before implementing it. But, another crucial factor is the testing of the software. Testing is essential for any software development project but companies disregard it citing time or cost issues.  

If the software is not tested, it may not lead to a successful implementation of expected results post-implementation. You must conduct this testing in live IT environments to know it’s working. Testing in casual setups does not help you find its loopholes or improvement points.  

So, prepare test data and create testing scenarios to check the software’s success. It is also better to test the data more than one time for confirmation. Testing the data makes your data migration a smooth and easy process.   

No commitment of the management 

The management’s attention to the software implementation project is important. By attention, we mean complete approval of it and allocation of resources for it. If the managerial support is missing, then there might be problems during implementation.  

So, your management’s green signal is essential for the successful implementation of software. They must have the time and energy to supervise or monitor the project. They must commit to it wholeheartedly because that encourages project team members.  

Also, with managerial support, you can get approval on resources, timelines, and budget. These three factors help you define the plan and execute the implementation strategy. Their support ensures continuous collaboration and communication between team members.

Lack of communication 

Assigning a dedicated team for software implementation is crucial. But if the communication between them is missing, the process of implementation suffers. Lack of communication means no exchange of ideas, no feedback, and no collaboration happening. As a result, the software implementation will fail.  

So, you must set up a healthy environment of communication between team members. You must encourage everyone to participate in discussions and doubt solving sessions. This leads to a better exchange of ideas and strategies that facilitate effective software implementation.  

Communication is also important to make the employees better prepared for the new software. You must listen to their issues with the new software to effectively address those concerns. Thus, with communication, you can manage the big change happening and help employees adapt to the software.  

Conclusion

We all know “Prevention is better than cure”. So, instead of finding solutions for issues arising during the software implementation process, ensure to prevent it early on. Take care of all the factors mentioned above so that you are prepared for the process.

There are chances you do not face any issues and it is a smooth sailing process. But it is better to be ready so that your processes do not get stuck in between. Prepare your requirements document, team members, and resources and be alert for any uncertain situations.

If you still think, software implementation is not your proficient area, leave it to the experts. Hire a software implementation expert who can manage the entire implementation process. The expert can also help in selecting the right software and the right vendor for your needs.

About Technovisors

We are a premium IT consulting firm in Ahmedabad, India. We help you in your IT initiatives to align them with your business goals. Besides IT consulting services, we also provide digital marketing and data analytics services.

Our IT consultants and expert professionals help you with smooth software implementation. We also help in selecting the right software for your business needs and the right vendor. Our unique approach ensures that there are no technical obstacles, delays, or budget overshoot in your software implementation process.

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FAQs On Enterprise Software Implementation Process

Yes. You must know what expectations do the endusers have from the software. Their list of features and functionalities is important before developing the software. With compliance with their list of requirements, you can achieve more acceptance and success of your software.  

The first step of convincing users is to explain to them the benefits of the new software. They must know why the new software is better than the old one. And, they must understand what are the pain points of the old software, which the new software will correct.  

Moreover, some people are not ready for the change because that will require them to train more and learn more. You must give extra support to such employees by making them understand how they will benefit from it. You must conduct relevant training so that they understand the software functionalities better.  

It is also important to ask for their feedback after the training and initial usage of the software. It is a good way to know any doubts or issues before these lead to bigger problems. Also, employees feel more ready to adapt to the new system because their feedback is being considered.  

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About the Author

Pathik Shah

(CISA, FCA, CS, DISA (ICAI), FAFP (ICAI))

Pathik is a multi-disciplinary professional with more than 22 years of experience in compliance, risk management, accounting, system audits, IT consultancy, and digital marketing. He has extensive knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering rules and regulations, and he helps companies comply with legal requirements. Pathik also helps companies generate value from their IT investments.