5 Challenges to Multiple Software Implementation and How to Overcome Them
Implementing multiple pieces of software simultaneously has challenges, but it’s not impossible. In fact, depending on the type of software being installed, there may be benefits to implementing them concurrently. Let’s look at the challenges associated with multiple software implementation and how to overcome them.
1. Understanding the Scope of Each Software Implementation
The biggest challenge most organizations and tax departments face is understanding the impact of the software projects.
To focus the purpose of the project, answer the following questions:
Who Will Be Using the New Software?
Software selection decisions are often made by individuals who will not be the daily user of the technology. As you are approaching software selection, list out the team members who will be using the product and get them involved in the selection process.
What Are the Users' Expectations of the New Software? Are They Realistic?
Again, software expectations may vary dependent on job function. Outline the top problems the software will address and, more importantly, communicate what the issues the technology will not solve.
Does Top Management Support the Projects?
We can make the greatest plans but without the right support, these plans often fail. As you pitch software needs to upper management, focus on how it can benefit the company. Will the tool help you achieve more without adding headcount? Will it help the company reduce its risk exposure? Communicating the benefits helps build a more compelling pitch on why the technology should be addressed. Having a project champion can help articulate the project to other areas of the organization and validate the projects purpose.
2. Estimating the Project Timeline
Working with a skilled project manager helps define variables that impact an implementation timeline. When implementing IGEN software, we pay close attention to tax rule knowledge, number of data sources, savviness of the end user, and minimizing business disruption. As we flesh out these components, we quantify them for our overall timeline.
3. Finding Efficiencies So Multiple Projects Can Move Together
Time and money tend to be the limited resources that have the most impact on software implementations. Finding areas of efficiency can maximize both with a multiple software install. Select software that can integrate with legacy systems as well as any newly selected software.
By installing this type of software first, you may be able to use it as a parallel test with the other software systems you are bringing on board. We recommend doing three months of parallel testing and document any differences between the two systems.
4. Project Pivots
As organizations move through implementations, a bit of pivoting is inevitable. New facts are discovered, and the project will need to address the new information. By having scheduled communications with your stakeholders (remember that champion under challenge 1?), you and your implementation team can determine how to pivot the project. Ideally, your software partner can guide you through the changes and educate your team about changes to the scope and timeline.
5. Keeping Momentum After the Software Install
Often, we focus so much of our energy on getting the software installed that we neglect the post-installation maintenance. A superior software company will address employee training, maintenance schedules, and process documentation. As you begin to scope the project, be sure to incorporate employee training, product maintenance and troubleshooting needs in your timeline.
With a little forethought and organization, you can successfully install one or multiple software needs for your organization.