Top Tips To Increase System Ownership
When implementing a new system into your business you will face many challenges through the process and beyond the magical ‘Go Live’ milestone.
Software implementation is largely about people and change management more than it is about software and technology. For this reason you need to plan for the change within your organisation and plan for the impact it will have on your people, your staff, your suppliers and your customers.
System ownership is about building success around the new technology and encouraging team members to become champions of the new system. The best possible outcome you can strive for when implementing a new system is to build a solution that your team want to learn, grow and improve.
Timelines matter when considering your new system and its normal in business to want things to move fast, after all, ‘time is money’!
That being said, you must have realistic timelines for when you can successfully undertake a digital transformation initiative. Consider the impact to your team, your customers and your operational processes.
Rushing technology projects can often have dire consequences, but lengthy delays can as well. Ideally you will work with your project team to build out a set of milestones and timelines that allow enough time for the new system to be implemented, tested and to get your team trained.
If along the way you choose to delay your project, that is fine, but make sure you don’t lose momentum. It is easy for team members to become disengaged when timelines are pushed out.
Conversely if you rush your project timeline you risk sacrificing training or testing time, which will leave your team feeling uncomfortable with the new systems and processes.
Ensure you have a timeline that meets your objectives but also sets you up for success!
Its a team effort
Often business decisions to change or implement technology come from an executive team or business owner. But the people that are the most effected by the change are the operational teams. These teams become the end users of the systems and they will be the ones to ensure the correct processes are followed and correct data entered.
Its important to include the end users in the design and implementation of the new solution. It may not always be feasible to include everyone in the process but you should ensure you select key team members who can add value to the process. These team members should also be willing and even excited to learn the new technology and understand the value that the change will bring.
Once you have selected your key team members, make sure they are given sufficient training, ideally both at an end user level and a administrative level. Having some key users undertake some systems administrative training and allow for them to form system ownership and feel like they have a level of control over the software.
Obviously there will need to be limits placed on their access and what they can change in the software, but elevating their access will demonstrate trust and leadership.
Its not set & forget
The decision to implement new business software is big! And probably expensive! Its natural to want to pump the breaks once the ‘go live’ point has been reached. However there is a few things to consider after you are off and away using the new system.
Systems require long term investment both financially and in time. As business processes change, system configurations needs to be updated and there is no doubt various additional functions that you will want to enable that did not make the first phase of implementation.
It can help to to think of a new software implementation on a numeric scale of -3 to 10.
- -3 is where you start. Its the decision to implement a new system.
- 0 is the magical ‘go live’ point. You’ve now started your digital transformation, the real journey has begun.
- 1 through to 5 is the adoption phase, where proper training and practical usage allow the system to settle in and become part of daily process.
- 5 through to 10 is when your return of investment is realised, automation is created and efficiencies are gained. It can often take years to reach 10 on the scale.
Considering this you should be prepared to continue to invest in the new system and keep improving its capabilities.
Doing so will connect you to the new system, and you and your business processes will grow as the systems capabilities grow. This, in turn, creates ownership over the system.