The executives see an opportunity to improve their sales processes by implementing a new enterprise customer management system.
So they go out and find a system that promises to do so.
All of the features are there.
They pressure the IT team to get everything running in an absurdly tight timeline.
And once the IT team gets the system up – the system administrators start asking some really uncomfortable questions.
How do you intend to use the tool? How do you need this to work?
I can buy a hammer. A hammer can do lots of things.
But unless I know what I want to use the hammer for – it’s just a configuration of materials, often metal, wood, plastic, and/or rubber.
The hammer may be best suited for banging on things (this is what I was told), but what am I banging on?
Maybe I am more interested in its prying feature? If so, did I buy a hammer with a prying feature? Is it the best tool for prying?
What environment am I using this tool in? Am I trying to pound nails into wood to build a house? Am I trying to pound nails into cinderblock to hang a painting?
Yes, you can get an enterprise tool up and running in 1-3 months or less.
But your time isn’t going to be spent on the technical act of installing the tool on the servers.
The bulk of the time will be spent with
– Defining your processes
– Configuring the tool to facilitate those processes
– Testing how well the tool works with the processes you defined
– Refining the interaction between the tool and the processes
– Developing documentation once you are happy
– Training your people on how to use the tool within the process
– Reinforcing the use of the tool and the processes and walking people through the change …. Over and over and over
– Refining your processes as you see use out in the field and everyone gets a better understanding of what the tool does.
– Update documentation
– Refine training
– Reinforce the use to the tool
– Repeat the cycle of refinement, training and documentation updates and reinforcement until you are ready to do another technical upgrade or implementation.
If your processes are already well defined and the tool you purchased works absolutely perfectly with your current processes – then you will be on the shorter end of the time spectrum.
I have never seen this happen.
Chances are, you may THINK your processes are well defined. Are you 100% sure about that?
What exceptions are happening in your environment? And how frequent? Are those exceptions the rule?
How confident are you now?