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Thursday, August 5, 2010

What Makes a Software Implementation Successful versus a Failed Attempt?

There have been many cases where builders and contractors have purchased software and the implementation was unsuccessful. There can be many reasons for an unsuccessful implementation of a new software package.
It could be a lack of skill sets in employees, lack of commitment to invest in proper training, or the lack of dedication from employees to change. It simply could be the product just wasn’t a fit.
The skill sets of employees are very important for a successful installation of software. One of the biggest mistakes builders and contractors make is assuming someone who knows computers is the right person to setup their computer system. Just because someone in your office knows computers does not also make them an expert in setting up an automated estimating system, CRM, or job cost accounting system. No different in asking your accountant to setup your estimating system or vice versa.
The person delegated to setup the system should be the one in your organization who fully understands the processes and procedures you are trying to automate. It is very important they have the knowledge or the skill set for the process of procedures you are asking them to automate. This is not to say that an individual without the pertinent skill sets cannot successfully implement a software system but the in-depth training could significantly raise costs and time. This leads to the next reason for failure of a successful implementation.
The lack of commitment from management to invest in implementation training and ongoing support can result in an unsuccessful installation. Implementation services includes: training staff on proper setup, conversion of current data, and training on the proper day-to-day use of the software capabilities. Ongoing support is helping staff with problems after the implementation is complete. In order to receive full benefit from a software system, you need to fully understand all the features of the product. The whole purpose of an automated system is to make your business run better. Investing in training and support to better understand each feature will ensure success.
Another reason for a failed software installation is a company’s employees’ unwillingness to change. People get comfortable with their present way of handling a current process or procedure so they avoid change. For many of us, change is hard because there is fear of the unknown. In many cases, a company that provides expertise in implementing software can overcome fear of change or the unwillingness for change with proper training. If that does not work, take a moment to reflect back on the skill sets of the people designated for the tasks of the position.
Lastly, a failed installation of software is you simply purchased the wrong program for your business. Typically, if you have done your due diligence this is unlikely. Most people would like to suppose this is the main reason for failure but if you worked with a professional provider they would have helped you select the right solution for your business and made an honest recommendation. If a program is unfitting for you and your company and you have exhausted all of the above alternatives (training, support, employees, etc.), perhaps there was not enough education or research done on the product itself.
The key to a successful installation comes down to getting your company fully educated on the software products you purchased. Moreover, invest in the proper training and ongoing support to get your system up and running for swifter results and long term success. Working with a qualified provider of construction software who has a complete understanding of your operations and experienced staff to aide in the implementation will help to guarantee a successful software installation.

Written By JKA President / / / 800-866-3083

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