12 Steps to Software Implementation Success | Step One: Planning

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This blog will cover the top 12  steps to ensure successful software implementation.  There are many project methodologies available that provide a checklist or guide to planning but, regardless of the methodology you choose, there are certain actions that must be taken in order to be successful.

The first step is planning the project and the business requirements that the software will fulfill. This is also called diagnostics, initiation, or start-up, and should be done well in advance.

The key to planning is to think through everything that will be considered during the project. If you are working alone without the benefit of an implementation partner or vendor, first research a list of planning items. These will fall under a variety of categories, but I would recommend focusing on two areas: how you will run the project and what the business requirements are that will need to be fulfilled.

Examples of planning items are:

  • What are the main goals and objectives?
  • Who will work on the project?
  • What skill sets are required and do these individuals have time to commit to the project?
  • Is the solution cloud or on-premise?
  • If the solution is on-premise, what are the hardware requirements for both servers and workstations?
  • What are the security expectations, who will use the system, and how will they access it?
  • How will team members on the project communicate?  Will they meet in person, virtually,  or will there be a project portal?
  • How will the business processes be gathered and documented?
  • How will the business requirements be gathered and documented?

This is just a starting point and each item above will lead to more questions.

The most important aspect of the planning phase is to actually take the time to think through the process.  It is a good idea to develop this plan with employees who have experience in software implementation. If you don’t have any employees with such experience, then do lots of research around project risks and the reasons why projects fail. Alternatively, engage a software implementation partner who will guide you through the steps and help ensure project success.

Please stay tuned for my next blog post, where I will talk about Process Design!

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