Far too often businesses invest in a new tool but fail to implement it successfully. They invest heavily in shiny new software without embedding it in the business, and as a result, fail to meet their goals and objectives. Not only does this mean a risk of project failure, but also damages relationships with stakeholders and sponsors that initiated the project in the first place. Here are the biggest mistakes to watch out for:
Lack of prioritisation
When it comes to implementing new tools, too many companies want to do everything at once across all business functions; from supply chain, to finance, to marketing. They go into the detail too soon and forget the levers that are going to drive business value and profit. To avoid this, start by prioritising what will drive value, then focus on leadership and stakeholder buy in.
Lack of change management
Lack of change management planning is one of the biggest predictors of failure when it comes to implementing new software. Without it, projects won’t deliver the expected benefits and you won’t get the traction required to deliver your objectives. Before investing in a new software, plan what your change management process will look like so you can account for the time and resources needed to deliver on your objectives.
Not revisiting areas of responsibility
When implementing a new software it’s crucial to look at how responsibilities and accountabilities might change. A new system will have different people responsible for different areas of the process. For example, if you implement a system that deals with claims validation for promotional claims, accounts receivable would be responsible. With your new system, account managers may be more appropriate, especially if they are better able to quickly resolve issues. In order to drive success, it’s very important to understand how your processes need to change, particularly at the people-level.
The wrong kind of change management
Another pitfall we often see businesses falling into is looking at the wrong kind of change management. Quite often there’s a big focus on forcing new tools into existing processes. But, existing processes are optimised for existing tools. Look at the outcome you’d like to achieve and the business deliverable, then ask yourself how you can use this new software to deliver that. Through working with the tool rather than against it, you’ll get a much better result. A lack of change management is an issue, but the wrong kind of change management can also be hugely disruptive .
Striving for data perfection
A common challenge for large consumer goods businesses is data availability and accuracy. Often, teams find it hard to trust the figures they have, which makes them hesitant to move forward, and consequently put everything on hold. The truth is, you are never going to have the perfect set of data; it doesn’t exist! The most successful teams will use what they have to get going, and start closing the data gaps as they go along. Over time as you increase your data availability and reliability, you’ll be able to make decisions with more confidence. Don’t let perfection become the enemy of progress.
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We are a revenue management consultancy, delivering lasting change through our software and consulting services for consumer brands.