Afterwards, you review the options, decide on a list of finalists, and once more schedule demos. The team sits through the most thorough presentations to-date, and after intense discussions, reference checks, and maybe another demo or two, you finally make your choice.
It may be six months to a year after you started this assignment, but before you pat yourself on the back, just know that your job as the head of this project is just beginning. You are now entering a crucial phase, and it is critical that you get it right from this point on.
What am I talking about?
I’m referring to setting the tone and the expectations for implementing this mission. Maybe the biggest reason why software implementations fail, and they fail fairly often, is a lack of leadership and commitment on the part of management.
We had a customer who went to great lengths to insure that the mobile time tracking solution they purchased was the right fit for their company. They did their homework and were very comfortable with their selection. After initial planning discussions, our implementation specialists went on-site to install and configure the software and train their users. Everything seemed to be going smoothly until, after the completion of the training, one of the field managers made a seemingly innocent remark to our technician, “the software looks great, I just hope we can get our guys to use it.”
Fortunately, situations like this one don’t happen too frequently, but when they do, it is very unsettling as well as unnecessary. The leaders of this company have seen the value of our software, made a fairly sizable investment in it, and now are leaving the success of the project to chance. Instead, they should have communicated to all employees that the new software was purchased to make it easier for everyone to do their job, and to do it more accurately and with better documentation.
Good communication and monitoring goes hand in hand with a solid commitment. Management needs to be totally engaged in the project. Field managers should closely and continuously monitor the progress and performance of their users. They might even contemplate assigning a “champion” of the software to work with those users who might be struggling a bit. As a minimum, they need to insure that access to technical support is readily available.
If you are considering purchasing a time tracking software solution, be sure to do your due diligence, and once you’ve done that, plan on making a total commitment to the success of this project. You’ll be happy you did.
"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful."
-- Albert Schweitzer