The old saw says, “one must learn to crawl before one can walk, run or fly”. With anticipations running high for the efficiency and productivity boost promised by a new solution, organizations often overlook key, best practices for successful implementations. This leads to crippled implementations at best and failed implementations at worst. This two-part series will examine the common drivers of poor/failed implementations and the contours of GreatVines proven methodology to ensure smooth deployments and successful adoption.
In Part I, we’ll examine the top reasons why solutions fail to live up to their potential. Then we’ll look at the best practices for solution design & implementation planning. Part II will focus on change management best practices.
So, why do solutions so often fail to fully deliver on the promises made during the selection process? There are many factors that may contribute to a less-than-ideal implementation. Perhaps the most common and problematic issues are unmanaged expectations. If your team believes that any software solution can magically overhaul poor business processes/practices, They will always be disappointed. Software tools like GreatVines are just that — tools. They can codify broken/inefficient business processes, but the software itself does not examine process flows and make recommendations. Issues must be addressed early to be applied to the solution’s automated processes.
Similarly, failure to define clear objectives for what the organization hopes to achieve through sales process automation tools like GreatVines, can stymie the effort. This is closely tied to the idea above. GreatVines implementation experts always start with a deep dive analysis of existing practices early in the process. This brings a clear understanding of where challenges lie and provides the opportunity to establish clear objectives for the solution before it is deployed.
Other common hindrances to success include lack of executive sponsorship and adoption, inadequate planning/project management or insufficient training and support. Additionally, there are common change-management deficiencies such as failure to attain buy-in from employees ahead of deployment, failure to plan for change and lack of a communication strategy.
So, what does GreatVines do to guard against all these potential implementation pitfalls?
Joint Planning | Together, GreatVines implementation teams and the customer Stakeholders Super Users work to define success criteria, understand key business drivers, identify/develop key business use cases and define the end user experience, ensuring the solution is a near-perfect fit for the organization.
Discovery Process | GreatVines implementation teams perform a very detailed discovery process at the earliest stage of the engagement to determine the true contours of the “Solution Scope”. This process includes an in-depth discussion to better understand existing challenges and workflow gaps and how to leverage GreatVines capabilities and proven best practices to help drive effective utilization and meet organizational goals.
Super User Training | Selected for their technically inquisitive nature, their respected reputations within the organization, their calming presence and high degree of patience, Super Users are the conduit between the customers’ user base and GreatVines program management resources. The Super Users learn everything their organization needs to know about the system and maintains a great rapport with their internal resources and GreatVines Administrator. They address issues immediately, communicating to management and submitting helpdesk tickets.
GreatVines Administrator (GVA) | GreatVines Administrators are critical to the success of the implementation and the ongoing relationship with GreatVines. They provide back-end system support and act as the liaison between GreatVines Customer Success and the customer organization. The GV Administrator minimizes dependency on GreatVines support by facilitating such crucial actions as configuration changes, key account strategies and data loading processes among many other tasks.
With Joint Planning, Discovery, Super User training, and GVA assignment concluded, attention turns to focus on driving change management processes. These ensure the groundwork is laid early in the deployment is properly applied across the entire user base. Part II of this post examines some of the key change management practices and activities GreatVines leverages to ensure successful solution implementations.