The purpose of this blog series is to describe the top 12 steps to ensure successful software implementation. The first nine steps, Planning, Process Design, Solution Design, Configuration, Customization, Integration, Reporting, Training, Testing, Data Conversion and Deployment were discussed in my previous blog posts.
This post is about Project Management. Project Management is not really a step during software implementation, it is something that should be on going throughout the project. There are many things that a project manager can do to support the successful implementation of software and the skills and activities for a project manager are well documented. In my opinion, these are the three things that a project manager MUST do.
Status Reporting should take two forms. The first is the creation of a regular status report that shows completed tasks and upcoming tasks. This report should be delivered to the project team on a regular basis. The second aspect of Status Reporting is that the Project Manager should run a regular status meeting (call or in person) where team members have an opportunity to hear the status of all aspects of the project and provide their input on progress.
Control Calls and Meetings
There is a time and a place for everything on a project. It is important that a project manager set the agenda for every call and meeting and ensure the project team understands the purpose of each interaction. For example, the status call is for reporting of status (what is done, what is not done, when will it be done), not for the resolution of issues. Issues resolution should include only those teams members needed to solve each issue (not the whole team!). Control is key to ensure everyone’s time is well used and project meetings are not side tracked.
Project Teams can sometimes take on a life of their own. People can get caught up in creating the perfect solution or building the solution to do something they think is really important but is either not in scope or not important to the users. The Project Manager needs to help the whole team stay focused on the solution and taking it live. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good!
Project Management is the 12th and final step to software implementation success. I hope this series was helpful to you.
Missed a step? Click through to view the previous posts on Planning, Process Design, Solution Design, Configuration, Customization, Integration, Reporting, Training, Testing, Data Conversion and Deployment.