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Why do Software Implementations fail


By: Varun Mahajan Published: July 2017 | Category: Article

Picture this scenario: your business is growing rapidly but your accounts are a mess. You’re going to be facing fines from the taxman unless you get your act together and file all necessary documentation on time. One day you realize you’re spending half your time just keeping on top of your accounts. It’s then that you understand just how badly you’re in need of accounting software.

Now that you’ve identified a piece of accounting software, you’ve paid for it (a cloud-based subscription plan, I’d imagine), and implemented it. You’re confident that this software will boost your productivity, ensure you adhere to all accounting regulations, file the necessary paperwork, improve the lives of your staff, and save you time and money so you can focus on your business. However, it doesn’t work out like that. You can’t work out how to use it, it doesn’t do what you want it to do, your staff don’t like it and eventually stop using it, and finally you realize that you should just go back to your Excel spreadsheets and manual methods, as this accounting software is actually costing you time and money. Your software implementation has failed.

Why do software implementations fail? According to enterprise research firm Gartner, approximately 75 percent of all ERP projects fail. This is a startling figure considering the time, cost, and disruption involved in any IT software implementation project. So why do so many software implementation projects fail? Here are some of the key reasons:

Lack of understanding of business requirements Every business is unique and has different requirements, and these can vary widely. There are some features that are absolute necessities (for example, compliance and legal features), and some may be nice-to-haves (for example, drag and drop user interface). If you don’t understand exactly what these are before choosing software then your project is more likely to fail, especially if you start to buy add ons and customizations to try to solve the problem.

If you’re unsure, then hire an expert with experience in dealing with your particular type of business and industry so you can understand what the underlying issues are and what kind of software you need to solve these problems Lack of documentation of requirements Knowing you have the above requirements is one thing, but if you don’t document them then it’s useless. This also refers to the scope of the project – what are your goals, what features must you absolutely have in the software, what issues do you need it to tackle, how will you determine whether it meets your goals and solves your problems, what is your budget, and when if your ultimate deadline.

Unless you create this project scope before implementation and have it signed off by all teams and by any consultant or implementation partner, then this is likely to cause ambiguity and poor project management, as well as confused communication. The more detailed and thorough you document the unique features your business is looking for, the more likely it is that your software implementation will succeed.

Not getting expert advice

If you’re a small business that is tight on budget, hiring a consultant or expert advisor may seem too expensive or not necessary, especially if your background is in IT or software development. However, you may not know this particular software market, nor the best products, or even understand how to get the best pricing. While getting expert advice from a consultant may seem costly, it will pay off in the long term when you get the right product for your business at an affordable price, and it is implemented properly.

Poor project management

Choosing a piece of software and then ensuring its smooth implementation requires excellent project management skills. You need to complete certain steps before you can move on to the next one. You can’t compare software products before you’ve worked out the crucial features your system must have. You can’t look at pricing before you have worked out a budget. You can’t leave your employees to use the system without arranging proper training. Without a coherent process and project management approach, your software implementation is much more likely to fail.

No buy in from employees If you’re not the one that will be using the software then it’s crucial to solicit your employees opinions before choosing and implementing a solution. You need to know what features they absolutely must have and what are nice-to-haves. If you don’t consult them at all during the process - or even make them part of the task force - then your software implementation is more likely to fail.

Inadequate training and support A lot of the newer cloud-based solutions will be familiar to your employees (at least to the millennials), but they will still need training to fully understand and get the most out of any solution. In addition, if you choose a more complex solution your employees (and you) will need time to adapt, and understand the system quirks.

In addition, it’s likely you’ll need more support and training as you start to use the product on a day-to-day basis as issues will arise along the way. If you don’t have either a consultant or a support contract then you will have to try to resolve the issues yourself or find workarounds, which increases the chances of software implementation failure. Knowing you have help on the end of the phone line/on live chat will also give you greater peace of mind. No change management process Having to get used to new software can be a disruptive and difficult time for your employees. Maintaining productivity while learning how to do things in a new way is challenging, especially if you have been using the old solution for many years.

Don’t just force this change on your employees, but have people around to support them, answer any questions, and deliver any extra training where necessary. These people shouldn’t just be software experts, but should have good people skills so they can address the anxiety and stress surrounding these problems, rather than just the technical side. Make sure you have these people in place and accessible to all from the moment you announce that you are implementing new software. Selecting software based on brand name You’re looking for more information on a CRM when the name Salesforce pops up. Oh I know Salesforce, they are a leader in the industry, and widely used, you think. Leading enterprises use Salesforce.

You select this CRM based on the name, but quickly find out that the system is too slow and complex for your small business, and they don’t have industry functionality for your construction business. Reliance on a familiar brand name instead of properly researching features and functionality and its fit for your business is likely to lead of failure in software implementation. How can I ensure my software implementation succeeds? The good news is that help is at hand to increase the likelihood of successful software implementation. VARSELOR is a dedicated space for all your software requirements. We provide personalized solutions to all your needs. Every project is approached with a systematic process that ensures you get exactly what you want. Our team consists of industry experts in every domain and cater to your every need. The process is simple:

  • Analyse
  • The very first step of the analysing process is where our business analyst will collect the requirements, understand the challenges and processes of each department that will be a part of the automation process. Read more
  • Discover
  • At this step our product consultant creates a list of products and shares it with implementation partners to understand the pricing model for each. Read more
  • Compare & Purchase
  • During this step the best possible combination of products and implementation partners is identified based on all the variables. Read more
  • Implement
  • The last step is to ensure that the product is implemented correctly, and is done within the parameters of the requirements, timelines and budget. Read more

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