Obsolete Before Go-Live: The Curse Of Enterprise App Implementations

For those of us who are involved in the selection and implementation of enterprise software applications (think CRM, HR, PLM or ERP), whether cloud or on premise, there’s one curse that few businesses can ever escape.  By the time you have finally implemented most apps, they are already obsolete.  How so?  Why does this happen so often?

Well it’s somewhat understandable really if you look at the 5 key challenges that just about every business, and their systems integration partners face, on the road to implementation – and it’s all about aligning people at every stage.

Challenge 1:  Selecting A Vendor & Systems Integrator to Implement It – Aligning people on the criteria for selection, from long list to short list vendor selection, and on the final winner, and why they are the best selection

Challenge 2:  Ensuring that your Program & Project Management Office (PMO) works properly – Aligning people on a work breakdown structure that’s clear and focuses on the key risks, project health and quality of implementation

Challenge 3: Collecting and prioritizing user business requirements (on a local and global scale) – Aligning people on their individual needs versus the core business design, on final business requirements, so you don’t end up backtracking later, and on the prioritization of requirements, so your roadmap is effective

Challenge 4: Getting users to accept the software they will be using, after the development stage – Aligning people on the readiness of the application for use, and on their basic training needs, impact of the process change

Challenge 5: Handling the business change associated with adopting a new way of working – Aligning the organization to USE the new software implemented, and those who perhaps were against the original vendor selection

It’s a tall order to manage.  Most leaders of systems integration projects that involve large enterprise application rollouts are typically ill equipped to deal with such massive transformation.  So how do we re-think this cycle of ‘Obsolete Before Go-Live?’  Much of the answer lies in HOW we engage the large and opinionated stakeholder communities that will make up the eventual user base of these applications.  Re-thinking how we engage, inform, align, decide and move forward (together) is where most organizations and their systems integration partners need to focus first.

At ThinkTank, we have spent decades developing new ways for people to come together around large mission critical business transformation projects – managing a cycle of successful deployment.   Leaders of enterprise app deployments must become masters of guided achievement.   The only way to do this at scale, with the size and distributed nature of the stakeholder community, is to do so using digital systems of engagement.  Systems that provide the productivity tools and task-to-task, stage-to-stage, support for the critical selection, design, development and deployment of enterprise (cloud) apps.

Take a look and see if digital engagement is appropriate for your application deployment process.  BYOM (Bring your own methodology) and let’s have a discussion on how we can help you deploy your biggest investments – before they are obsolete.