Consider this scenario: Your organization is coping with great operational change. As part of a process-optimization drive, your entire organization is in overhaul and overdrive. It’s adopting new processes and workflows. It’s migrating to a new enterprise-wide application from multiple versions used previously, as part of day-to-day operations. The Go-Live date has been identified and the development team is working tirelessly to migrate data. But is all this effort enough to meet the Go-Live date without fail? Will this alone ensure minimal or no disruption to operations? Regrettably, not.
There are many moving parts that need to merge and synchronize to make an application implementation project a success. Organizations that don’t pay due consideration and foresight when executing such projects, tend to succumb to the common pitfalls sooner or later. One of the key factors that is frequently overlooked by project implementation teams is as simple yet significant as the “Human Factor”.
In their haste to complete the project and to meet the Go-Live date, project teams often forget to make the people, who will actually be utilizing the application, Day 1 Ready! More often than not, this ultimately results in the project’s failure. (To read more about why more than half of IT projects are still failing, click here.)
To avoid the pitfalls of not being Day 1 Ready, there are several questions that the implementation team needs to identify and answer. Although the application may be working properly and all data may have been migrated, teams need to consider if any of the following questions elicit a “No” as an answer:
- Is an Organizational Change Management process (OCM) in place to communicate the changes and their probable effects to the stakeholders?
- Has a stakeholder’s analysis been implemented? Has it been determined how well the users are likely to accept the impending change?
- Do the end users know how to use the new application?
- Is there a formal training scheduled for the end users to provide information about the new processes and to train them on how to use the application?
- Have Super-Users been identified that the end users can reach out to in times of distress (when they need guidance in troubleshooting or using the application)?
- Is your infrastructure ready to handle the new application load?
- Do you have a robust learning management system (LMS) to host, deliver, and track the usage of various training components?
- And finally, have the end users been given enough opportunities to master the application? Have they actually gotten their hands dirty with the application?
If the answer to any of the above questions is a “No”, your project may be headed for a disaster or at least a chaos! Therefore, you need to ensure that you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time so that your efforts pay off. In the next few articles, I’ll be discussing some of the pain areas for organizations as they move towards getting Day 1 Ready. I will also talk about how these pains and risks can be mitigated for a smooth transition and a positive ending. Stay tuned for my next piece!