Express Version

  • Implementation is just as critical to the success of your project as the initial tool selection.
  • Start with a solid list of agreed upon objectives and requirements (these are detailed implementation requirements, not selection requirements). The best way to create the requirements list is to bring the entire implementation team together for a kickoff workshop. Having everyone in the room allows for fruitful brainstorming and immediate buy-in.
  • Define the testing criteria at the start of the project. It helps clarify the requirements and contain scope creep.
  • Plan for end-user training during the implementation and leverage the training development as a testing aid. Create self-paced training materials even if the initial training will be done face to face, for use as reinforcement and to train new hires.
  • Make extra amounts of support available at rollout to ensure as smooth a start as possible.
  • Frequent, short, face-to-face status checks during the implementation allow a better flow of information than standard written reports. Face-to-face status checks are particularly important when it comes to spotting emerging issues.
  • To ensure that you get the most value out of the integration team, make sure you provide all contractors with the logistical support they need when they are onsite and maintain appropriate control on the project even if they work offsite.
  • Super-users and other business users should be involved throughout the project to test that each milestone meets the requirements.
  • All implementations go through problems, and some will be major issues. Schedule the high-risk work early on so you can spot problems early and therefore have more time to invent creative solutions.
  • Promote the new tools to employees and to customers during the implementation. Be upbeat but conservative about what can be expected in the first phase of the implementation to avoid disappointments.
  • Hold a post-mortem review after the project to identify high and low points, and especially opportunities for different approaches.