Updated: Jul 4
In most COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) software solutions, there is always an element of training delivered to the customer as part of the implementation. Whether it be delivered by the vendor, a consultant or even self-serve online, there should always be a training element as part of the rollout. How centric this training is to your implementation methodology may mean the difference between success and failure. This post will describe the value of taking a training-centric approach to your implementation.
One of the ‘golden geese’ of any software implementation project is the early adoption by power users. By getting your customer testers to buy into the software, the processes that it follows you are setting your project up for success by way of having more proactive discussions than reactive. Humans are naturally resistant to change and by getting early buy in to your software, you are helping shepherd these major changes into the customer organization with the aid of key users from within the organization.
Identification of Changes
The first principle of changes in a project is that the earlier they are identified, the cheaper they are to implement. By getting your software not only in front of your customer early but also ensuring they understand how the software works against their current (or to-be) business processes, it allows the project team to identify changes early on that are required to make the project/software successful at the organization. It also establishes confidence in the vendor by way of transparency in that if gaps are identified and acknowledged early on, it lets the customer feel they are helping steer the direction of not only the project but the software as well, increasing the level of buy in from the overall organization.
By garnering early adoption and ensuring that changes are identified early and inexpensively, you are setting your project up to gain some system champions from within your customer organization which is a huge win for your project even before a successful implementation. By garnering established system champions from within your customer’s organization, you are building the pillars for a long-standing relationship with your customer. Having these individuals supporting the vision of your platform from within is a great way to maintain longevity with your customer and ensure that your solution grows deep roots.