Software Project Implementation
There are 3 significant phases of software project implementation.
The first big piece of work is software selection.
The next big piece is the software implementation, which lots of people think that once software implementation is done, they’re done.
The third, and sometimes largest, piece of work is learning how to use the software and realising it’s benefits.
It’s a bit like getting to the top of a hill only to find there’s another bigger hill that you couldn’t see as you were climbing the first.
Here’s Why Live Does Not Mean Done
We recently delivered a Ship from Store project for a retailer. We worked with them to get the technology piece tested, stood up and working in 2 weeks.
It was a tough ask, but we got there.
After a push like that, to get something live and working in a short space of time, it’s easy to relax and think you’re done. The hard bit of the theory hitting reality is never as smooth as it appears from the outside.
The next 4-6 weeks were spent refining the process and working with the team to use the software.
The day-to-day was about how things are communicated, the order and flow of the day and how to prioritise the influx of new work. We needed to clarify the metrics, make sure people were doing things correctly and following the designed and tested process.
That part of the project was a lot messier and involved more people, training and re-training; and re-framing and re-working.
It’s this piece around making operational bits work and align that is so often undercooked in project delivery.
Being Prepared for Post-Live
Many businesses have found after ‘go live’ they need the support of the project team almost more than they did when preparing for taking the project live.
The reality is that software implementation requires a balance of the systems (or tech if you prefer), people and processes.
Here are some of the things we needed post-live (but pre-expert):
- Daily communication: to review what was working and not (this tapered off to once a week);
- Quick resolution of issues: in this case, it was mainly process and training, but it’s useful to keep the vendor/s on standby to resolve problems as they come up (they are part of the team too);
- Reporting progress: against our original targets and then each day or week seeing things improve (and not some weeks);
Sometimes issues can lie dormant for a few weeks. It’s after the dust settles that we see the cracks of misunderstanding, things that didn’t really work in the real world and just plain old mistakes.
Keeping the project team knowledge at hand and having project experience around to help troubleshoot at this point makes the leap from project phase to operational much smoother.
If you are embarking on a software project implementation and have an ambitious launch date, be prepared that while you may officially go live, the business may still need the support of the project team.
Whenever you’re embarking on something new, you’re asking more of your people; creating the right support for them in the transition to operations is a critical part of ensuring your project success.
Connect with the Experts
Some of Australia’s most well-known retailers have had project success through the efforts of the 6R team behind the scenes, leading through project management, testing, training and change management.
Our experience will support and guide you through the process of figuring out what’s most important for you and your business.
Be sure to sign-up below to discover more about the Ship from Store strategy, as part of our Omnichannel 5-part video series.
OMNICHANNEL FREE 5-PART VIDEO SERIES
We at 6R Retail have been working with retailers for over a decade connecting stores to back-office systems and rolling out eCommerce sites that help retailers and their customers bring the digital and physical closer.
In our 5 part video series, we share insights we’ve learned from implementing omnichannel retail features and look ahead to what might be next for retailers. We’ll cover:
- Ship from Store
- Click & Collect
- Endless Aisle
- Redemption & Refunds
- Transition Service