New technologies, like artificial intelligence or cloud-based accounting systems, have created new opportunities for companies to increase efficiency and competitiveness. Taking advantage of such technologies will require implementations. Data needs to be converted, configuration decisions need to be made, and employees introduced to change. Proper preparation is critical to success. Following are three ways to prepare for an upcoming implementation:
1. Get a head start on data cleanup
Data will eventually need to be migrated into the new system. Successful data migration is achieved when information in the new system is correct and matches what was in the old system. But there’s more to it. If data in the old system is messy, inaccurate, or inconsistent, cleanup is necessary before uploading it into the new system.
Determine how much cleanup is required as early as possible. Many companies perform this assessment during package selection. The information gathered from the assessment will give the implementation team a realistic idea of how much cleanup is needed so they can allot resources accordingly. A large amount of inaccurate data will substantially slow down the project.
Time and money can be saved by cleaning up inaccurate data beforehand. Assign a point person who has extra capacity and a good understanding of the data to spearhead the cleanup in the months leading up to the implementation.
2. Make structural decisions quickly
Decisions about structural elements will drive basic system configurations. Elements like company, reporting hierarchy, and customer and item numbering schemas need to be decided quickly. Take heed, because changes in these configurations cannot be made without a considerable amount of rework and expense.
Reporting needs will also drive many structural configuration needs. Creating a reporting strategy early on decreases the chance that changes will be requested later in the project. A helpful hint: Maintaining a log of key decisions and proper documentation is a good way to keep track of decisions throughout the project.
3. Embrace change
Different systems operate… well, differently. Employees should expect and be prepared for processes, responsibilities, and vocabularies to change. It’s important for employees to understand change isn’t simply happening for the sake of change. The new system is being implemented to improve the business.
Employees should be told the truth. Change can be hard, but the long-term benefits are worth it. This will encourage commitment to the new system and reduce the chances that employees will find workarounds after go-live. Key benefits will never be obtained if employees don’t use the new system to support their day-to-day activities.
A system implementation can be a long, difficult, expensive process, but it can be a powerful asset to a business. With some prep work, a deliberate decision-making process, and a team ready for change, the results will be worth it.
Trenegy is a non-traditional consulting firm that specializes in helping companies select and implement fit-for-purpose solutions that eliminate inefficiency and generate additional revenue. Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to prepare for a transition to a new system.