As businesses face the challenge of finding success in the marketplace, many are faced with decisions regarding how to anticipate, respond, and react to growing demands in the workplace. More than ever, a strong business strategy means efficient and aggressive utilization of information technology to simultaneously meet current needs, while forecasting future demands.
For many, an integrated workplace management system (IWMS) offers the tools necessary to effectively manage and support your workplace strategy by offering one total solution for collecting and managing resources. It supports a process-oriented view of the organization, automating business processes, sharing data and common practices enterprise-wide, plus offering access to relevant information in real-time.
Numerous workplace managers look to their IWMS investment as an opportunity to improve on organizational processes and, ultimately, decrease costs. However, for your software solution to improve on these processes and deliver anticipated outcomes, it is critical your team evaluates and refines operational procedures prior to implementation.
Define & Refine Your Processes for a Successful Software Implementation
Process analysis offers an opportunity to identify vulnerable areas, setting you up for success, once software has been installed. In our experience, we sometimes get into an implementation and find that the business processes are unknown, or there’s inconsistent understanding of the business procedures. How can you make processes more efficient and effective if you don't even truly understand the current state? And, if individuals have a different understanding of processes, how will you come to an agreement on how the new system should work for you? These discrepancies stand to impact your IWMS implementation timeline, total cost, and the effectiveness of your new system.
A thorough analysis prior to implementation increases awareness of problem areas, ensuring you the most ironclad method once your IWMS is in place and ultimately reduces risk of project failure.
Before software implementation begins, your team will need to identify which processes are effective “as-is” and which need refining. Start by consulting with your workforce. You’d be surprised at how much knowledge you can uncover talking with those on the frontline, executing these processes on a daily basis. Ask them for details regarding a typical day at the office: what aspects of their job run smoothly and where they feel their time could be better spent.
During your interviews, create a list of both effective processes and pain points, with suggestions from employees on how they feel the procedure could be improved. This is also an opportunity to uncover issues within the current software’s functionality. These details will be vital to your new software build.
And don’t limit yourself to management or just one department; include representatives from each department for a more complete, effective process analysis. By involving end users throughout the review, you not only identify pain points, but generate a sense of empowerment and responsibility, minimizing their resistance to change.
A thorough business process review, prior to beginning software implementation, will:
- Reduce risk of implementation failure
- Ensure consistency and understanding across the enterprise
- Reduce confusion during implementation process
- Identify areas of inefficiencies (and efficiencies)
- Identify how these inefficiencies impact the organization
- Help in developing an implementation strategy and ensure a smooth implementation
- Speed up requirement gathering and documentation for software implementation
- Offer an opportunity to roll out many of the planned process improvements prior to implementation
Integrating new software into your arsenal of workplace tools is often thought of as a long and arduous process, but it doesn’t have to be. The steps you take pre-implementation will save you in both time and money, reducing the risk of project failure. Set your implementation up for success by defining business processes from the start.
Unsure of how the rest of the implementation process will go? Check out our checklist A Simple Guide To Successful FM Software Implementation for a step-by-step guide.