A successful software implementation relies on the combined knowledge of your software consultant and your internal team. That's why it's so important to choose the right group of people to be part of your project. What skills and experience should these individuals have? How should you define their roles and responsibilities? Read on for practical advice on building the best possible software implementation team.
Identify key stakeholders
Your internal team will be responsible for planning, executing, and managing the implementation process alongside your consultant. They will define and translate your business requirements, communicate needs to the consultant, and share progress with the rest of the organization.
Start building your project team by identifying the key stakeholders. Your stakeholders should represent different departments that will benefit from the software implementation. This usually includes sales, marketing, finance, and customer service departments.
Many businesses choose department heads or managers as their stakeholder representatives. These leaders gather feedback from their teams to highlight the distinct challenges they need the software to solve.
A diverse stakeholder team ensures the needs and expectations of all end-users are heard. Their input helps define the necessary requirements that will eventually align the chosen software with your organization's broader objectives.
Select team members with relevant experience & skills
Whenever possible, choose people for your team who have experience with the software you're implementing. They can add an important perspective to the project.
Because the implementation project is so collaborative, you'll also want to consider skills such as teamwork, communication, adaptability, and problem-solving. A successful software implementation team requires individuals who can work well together, communicate effectively, and adapt to changing circumstances.
Define roles and responsibilities within the implementation team
To ensure a smooth software implementation process, it's crucial to define roles and responsibilities within the team. Each team member should have a clear understanding of how they contribute to the overall project success. A strategic and agile software implementation requires a time investment on the part of your project team, too. Make sure the stakeholders you choose can dedicate the time and attention the project demands.
In addition to defining roles, it's important to foster effective communication and collaboration within the team. This can be achieved through regular team meetings, status updates, and open channels of communication.
Your consultant may encourage the use of a project management software to keep teams looped into each stage of the implementation. Not only will a project management platform help organize the moving parts of your software implementation, but it's also a great place to share ideas, ask questions, and provide feedback to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal.
Ensure effective communication and collaboration within the team
Effective communication and collaboration are essential for the success of any software implementation team. Without them, misunderstandings can derail the project and lead to unnecessary delays and frustrations.
A project management tool can help establish those lines of communication and ensure important documentation is shared with all stakeholders, but the implementation process will also require regular updates and status reports. These will happen during regular team meetings, where stakeholders can share progress, discuss challenges, and brainstorm solutions.
Encourage team members to work together, share knowledge and expertise, and support each other. Foster a collaborative and inclusive team culture where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their ideas and insights.
Use influencers to advocate the change
Members of your project management team may naturally have the expertise and knowledge to guide your project. However, the most valuable thing these individuals can bring to the team is their influencer capabilities. By creating a positive mentality around the project and getting their teams excited about what's to come, the stakeholders set the stage for stronger user adoption once the software launches.
Encourage stakeholders to communicate regularly with their teams about how the software will make their work easier, the immediate gains they can look forward to, and the positive outcomes they can expect from the software's capabilities.
Low user adoption occurs when end-users are unenthusiastic about the solution. This can easily destroy an otherwise productive software implementation project, but positive and charismatic leadership can prevent that by letting teams know their voices are being heard and keeping them informed about the change.