How to get the most out of a WFM System: Be Prepared to Change & Prepare for the Change (part 4)
I’ve been working in a software implementation environment for nearly 20 years and in that time I’ve seen many successful projects. Sadly I’ve also seen a number of less successful projects and if I were to pick a main cause for each of them the two recurring themes would undoubtedly be:
- The ‘Lift & Shift’
The introduction of a new WFM solution provides an organisation with a fantastic opportunity to review and refine their processes and policies. Some of these may have been in place for so long that there’s no longer anyone around who can explain their original purpose. If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard “that’s just the way we’ve always done it”, I’d be writing this blog with a cocktail in one hand and the warm sea gently lapping at my toes!
Rationalising and streamlining is paramount to maximising the benefit from a WFM system, yet I still see too many organisations ignoring or paying lip service to this opportunity in favour of a ‘quick implementation’. Unsurprisingly, this proves to be a false economy. The effort and cost required to bend a system to accommodate archaic processes and policies invariably outweighs the effort and cost required to rationalise and streamline the business ahead of system design.
- The ‘Communication Breakdown’
Configuring software is easy. Computers do as they’re told when they’re told to do it (sometimes after a modicum of trial and error, and a sprinkling of profanity). So why do so many implementation projects focus almost exclusively on the software? What really needs attention is the key component without which that software is useless – the component we like to call the user (or consumer for my younger readers).
For an implementation to be successful, your colleagues & managers need to be engaged from the outset. Representation from all areas of the business is vital to securing user buy-in. This shouldn’t be a token gesture either – that stakeholder input is important right from vendor selection through to testing and deployment. It’s not just a case of telling colleagues what’s happening. They must be involved and crucially, must be made aware of what’s in it for them.
Anyone reading this with experience in business analysis and change management might think that I’m just stating the obvious, and maybe I am. But if it’s that obvious why do implementations continue to struggle as a result of insufficient business transformation and poor communication?