So, you've taken the leap and have decided to implement an (IWMS) Workplace Management software system. Congratulations! Exciting changes are in the works, to be sure.
Like many software customers, your vendor selection process was probably a long and tedious process to decide who and what will best benefit your company. And this is just the beginning of your journey into the often unknown world of software systems and their supporting services. You might also be realizing you’ve ventured into unchartered territory, in regards to your role as an FM, and have little idea what will be expected of you over the coming months. Scary, right? No problem; we’ve got you covered.
While the specifics will vary, depending upon the customer’s needs, we typically recommend planning on a timeframe between 60 and 90 days for your software implementation. During this stage, a lot of your time and facilities knowledge will be required to help add specifics to the system. Some find the demands of time a little overwhelming. But these changes should be viewed more as fun and exciting times! You are making the move into greater abilities and results, often with half the actual manpower being expended. Read on to find out exactly what the coming months will look like and what can and will be expected of you. Knowledge is power; with a little preparation and knowledge of what’s ahead, your FM tool implementation will be a breeze. So, let’s get started.
Day 1-6: Pre-Kickoff
Over the next 6 weeks, a lot of questions will be asked of you and your project teammates. A successful implementation is reliant on everyone understanding the overall goals for the project and their role in the process. As a result, iOffice recommends a pre-kick off planning session. Your pre-kick off planning should include the following elements.
- The Project Manager should share overall objectives for implementation, including organizational and individual user benefits.
- Assign and define individual roles and responsibilities during implementation, training, and post-implementation.
- Communicate with IT regarding their role throughout implementation. Their support will be needed for implementation of Single Sign-On, Automated User Import Processes, or other software integrations.
- Human Resources’ role should also be communicated at this time. Their support will be needed in defining and transferring employee data.
By including and orienting your team with the new system, you begin building buy-in on an organizational level by defining individual roles and goals. If any questions need to be addressed, this is your chance to get everything out on the table and clear up any objections to the upcoming project. It is during this phase that your sales associate will share all knowledge gathered up to this point with your assigned Vendor Implementation Manager. Together, they will be working behind the scenes to ensure the next phases go as smoothly as possible.
Day 7-14: Kickoff Meeting
Now that everyone understands what will be expected of them over the coming months, it’s time to get to work!
Before the planning phase begins, you’ll want to set up a kickoff call. While not every team member will be involved in each phase, their involvement in this meeting is critical for gaining a clear understanding of the entire project. All iOffice team members with a role in your implementation will also be present. Your kickoff phone call will include the following elements.
- Project objectives will be restated and feedback shared.
- Objectives will be adjusted based on feedback.
- Implementation Manager will provide a customized project plan, including key milestones and timeframe.
- Roles and responsibility form filled out, including contact information for each team member.
I assure you, this is not another one of those meetings that will leave you wondering what the purpose was. We know how busy you are and we value every moment of your time. The kickoff meeting is to minimize project delays and missed milestones due to miscommunication; it is one you do not want to miss.
Your team has now been given valuable information to guide them in their implementation roles and have seen the benefits of buying into this new system. The questions and concerns, which may stymie this implementation have also been asked and answered and everyone is ready to move forward. You are also at the point in which the real vendor/customer relationship becomes critical. From here, your next steps will involve the implementation process and all of the actual planning and procedures associated with it.
Join us tomorrow for part two to see how to navigate the second part of your implementation journey.