8 Proven Steps to a Successful Construction Software Implementation
With the advances made in construction technology, many companies are searching for new software to improve and transform their business.
There are several focus areas for new construction software, including, construction accounting software, construction, and project management software, estimating software, and even software for specific functions like service management and billing.
Two of the most popular construction software products are developed by Viewpoint: Spectrum and Vista. When upgrading to new software, the real challenge isn’t choosing a construction software, it’s implementing the software in your construction company effectively.
8 Steps for Software Implementation Success
Explore these 8 important strategies for a successful software implementation:
Executive Ownership in Implementation
Executive sponsors must be involved in the project and own its overall success. They should be providing leadership in each of the major phases of the process. Starting with the evaluation and software selection. Then, they can help guide the organization and help choose which path to take when issues arise. Executive ownership is essential for holding the right people accountable to assigned tasks and functions.
Set Business Objectives for the Implementation
Before the implementation roadmap comes together, and before implementation begins, there should be a clear definition of the problems the software aims to solve. These problems must be central during the entire implementation process. Further, the whole implementation team must have these objectives in mind. These objectives drive the value that the business obtains from the software’s successful implementation.
Define Success for Software Implementation
A clear idea of what success will look like – at each step – is necessary. The team must know explicitly what success looks like, so that they may focus on those areas. An example of a goal could be automating a task that was previously manual. The team must be aware of each of these goals and objectives so they can focus on and celebrate when it is achieved.
Ensure there is a Strong Implementation Team
The right implementation team will make the project. Leverage those staff that are positive, confident, adaptable, critical, problem-solvers. Your implementation team should be unafraid to take different approaches to ensure that the job is done well. Those users affected by the implementation of the new software can provide priceless input. The new software will enhance their jobs, but may also change their specific functions. As new and improved workflows are deployed as part of the implementation, they expect change. A strong implementation team can provide leadership and a company-wide perspective to handle the shifts in these daily tasks.
Manage the Implementation Project
Project oversight is key throughout the implementation process. Implementation projects should be managed with the same accountability as if managing a construction project. Excellent communication combined with the right visibility and assurance of accountability will keep things running well. Most companies should consider bringing in an external project manager to ensure that the project is on time and on budget, while meeting business objectives and desired value.
The software should have a high rate of adoption and utilization to ensure high value to the organization. Users must feel represented and be aware of how the software can affect them and their work. Their feedback and questions are vital and should be taken into consideration during the process. Listen to their concerns and help them to see to broader vision for the software and the overall impact on the business. They should understand both the big picture plan and the impact on their role and workflows. Engaged users buy-in to the process and will help ensure a successful implementation.
Celebrate Implementation Successes
There will be small successes throughout the implementation process, while the project is building towards broad and complete adoption. These should be communicated and celebrated. Users want to hear how the new software is adding value and anticipate the new benefits they or others will receive as the project continues. Morale is kept high and the project goes smoothly when milestones are reached. Whenever value is present, it should be celebrated and shared with the wider implementation team on an ongoing and consistent basis.
Review and Revise
Implementation projects don’t end when you “go live” and start using the software. The team should continue to review business objectives, workflows and process. Aim to drive additional value from their investment. The most successful construction software implementations are ones that continually advance, with complete milestones and retrospective reviews throughout the process. Your business and your users will see the value of the software investment and be excited to take advantages of new capabilities as their skills and product knowledge increase.
With these 8 simple steps, the implementation of your new construction software will be a huge success!