When it comes to implementing new business objectives within your M3 Movex system here’s 7 guidelines for project leaders to ensure a successful project delivery.
Implementing a new M3 Movex module, a new divisional rollout to a recent acquisition, or an entire system upgrade is one of the largest internal projects your business and key users can undertake.
The success or failure of the system can depend heavily on the scope and preparedness of the implementation. To ensure success, carefully evaluate the implementation vendors such as Palmarium, looking for a track record of successful deployments or possible red flags. This post outlines seven guidelines and corresponding questions to consider during the selection process.
1. Make the Implementation Process Part of the Purchase Decision with your key supplier
Troubled implementations can have significant long term costs in the form of additional consulting, support and lost time resolving issues. To avoid these risks ask the provider for at least five references from firms similar to yours that have gone through the same implementation process proposed by the vendor.
Questions to ask the reference accounts:
- Describe any positives and negatives that stood out during the implementation process.
- How much of the implementation was a Do-It-Yourself approach through generic media?
- Were you able to improve your business processes through the implementation?
- Did you have to pay for additional services and support during the implementation process?
2. Involve the Executive Team
One trademark of companies that have successfully implemented new rollouts and upgrades is executive involvement. Executives don’t have to spend a lot of time, but they do need to define the implementation goals and empower staff to prioritize the work necessary to complete the implementation.
Questions to consider for your executive team:
- What existing business processes or metrics are critical to keep/change?
- Who are your internal implementation team leaders?
- Does your team have the resources in place to implement new software?
3. Invest in User Training
When using the system, poorly trained users may make mistakes that ripple through the whole system and may not be seen until they are picked up days or weeks later in the accounting modules and can cause long term problems including a lack of confidence in the quality of your data. Many times, poorly trained users stem from a reliance on generic material based training instead of instructor/consultant taught. A dedicated consultant can vary the pace of instruction and give your team the attention they need in critical areas and at a time to work within the limitations of your ongoing business needs.
Questions to ask the software provider about training:
- Do they have experience with the specific process and information needs of your business?
- How much of the implementation is spent with a consultant vs. generic educational training?
- Can the consultant travel to your office to provide training in person?
4. Have a Data Migration Strategy
If the quality of the data is less than 100% accurate in the old system, moving it over frequently creates more problems than it solves. A best practice is to take a measured approach to data migration. Having access to a dedicated consultant will expedite determining the best course of action.
Questions for your data migration needs:
- How do you plan to use your historical data in the new system?
- Are there data integrity issues in the old system that could cause problems in your new one?
- Could access to old system meet your needs for historical data mining?
5. Re-evaluate your Business Processes
The most successful businesses use the implementation process to re-evaluate their business processes. When evaluating which services vendor is right for you, consider a goal beyond just mirroring your existing system. Look for the tools and business intelligence to move your business forward.
Questions to consider when evaluating your existing business processes:
- How many steps are involved in various processes and accessing critical reports?
- Are existing process considered easy because they have become routine?
- How many staff members are required to manage existing processes?
6. Engage your Key Departmental Users
While improved accounting is great, many of the breakthrough benefits of a new project are achieved when the key departmental users of the company actually use the system to manage the deliverable aspects of a project. The challenge is that all TEST/PILOT project systems can look good in regards to process and data adoption in a demo scenario. The only way to assess a projects practical use is to talk to multiple internal customers for each affected department.
Questions to ask internal and external references about key user inclusion:
- Are the users in the department using M3 Movex?
- How would your users rate the software, the processes they use and what changes could be made to improve its effectiveness within the scope of the new project?
- Can the Implementation Vendor offer ongoing classroom training for user development?
7. Focus on Immediate Access to Actionable Data
M3 Movex can transform a company or a department by providing business insight that was not available before. At the beginning of the project scoping exercise you should ask questions about the flexibility of the current and planned future reports tailored to the way your company does business and based on the specifics of an individual or role.
When you are finished, ideally you will be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
- Does your management team have the information they need to manage their responsibilities effectively?
- Is your team able to run the reports they need when they need them?
- Does your team have access to the information they need anytime and anywhere they may need it?
Companies undertake M3 Movex rollouts or new module implementations on an infrequent basis and doing so can be a daunting task and one fraught with challenges. Adopting the hard earned lessons from successful implementations and asking the questions outlined above can improve the probability of success and make the journey to positive business transformation much easier.