Every technology implementation requires diligent project management to ensure outcomes are delivered on-time and within budget. In the current environment, cloud-based systems are proving vital to business continuity. Critically, many new technology systems will be implemented remotely.
Implement business solutions that grow the top line, reduce cost, and mitigate risk, remotely.
At Tridant, we have leveraged cloud technology to enable remote delivery of many client digital transformation projects for 10 years now. However, this is new territory for many.
With the sudden onset of The Great Lockdown, many organisations were caught unprepared for an extended distributed work scenario. For example, many finance performance and analysis teams recently had to grapple with and deliver their first fully virtual quarter-close, and for some, year-end close.
As a result, there is a new urgency within organisations to enable cloud-based services and solutions for their business continuity. Many are deciding to not wait to return on-site to kick off projects.
What is the right way to approach a remote implementation?
How do you drive readiness, maximise project value, and streamline progress from kick-off to go-live?
Here are some key best practices to keep in mind when embarking on a project with a remote implementation team.
1. Uncover Your Prep Needs
- Once you’ve evaluated technology options and determined a solution and partner to work with, you need to prepare.
- Identify key project team members and process experts whose time will be required and assign project roles with outlined responsibilities.
- Gather, cleanse, and organise data (metadata, transactional data, and process information. Remember to consult with your implementation leader/partner on what information is required, and when.
- Achieve internal consensus on desired outputs and end results.
2. Plan Availability Requirements
- Availability of your team members will vary between the project kick-off, implementation, and post go-live.
- Maintain a shared, updated delivery plan with estimations on availability required from business experts.
- Keep time zone differences in mind when planning team meetings.
- Nominate an internal project lead, to coordinate with key stakeholders and contributors, with authority to organise and assign tasks to others.
- Clear your calendar for busy periods such as User Acceptance Training (UAT) and training.
3. Remember to Build Relationships
- A good partner should build a relationship with you and get to know your business.
- Allow for discussions that are non-project related. You may discover new use cases where you can gain value from the technology being implemented or alternative solutions.
- Select a team/project name and start each meeting reiterating the purpose. Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to achieve when focusing on details.
- Celebrate milestones and accomplishments. Share the wins and communicate to the rest of the business when major progress is achieved.
4. Diligent Project Management is Vital
Assess the best implementation methodology for the scope of work and apply the approach across the project.
- Put in place an effective meeting strategy for optimal outcomes from the right contributors. Documentation is key.
- Identify project risks early. Assign a specific team member to track and mitigate these.
- Use a project management and planning platform that all team members can access to view progress and next steps, even if it is a simple shared spreadsheet.
- Ensure all users are prepared for their tasks such as User Acceptance Testing (UAT) or training.
5. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
With project team members in different locations, continuous and focused communication is crucial to project success.
- Prepare for a more rigorous communication process for collaborating with team members including workshops, status reports, and training.
- Set up and share your communications schedule up front. For example, daily stand-up calls, weekly/bi-weekly status reports and a shared document repository.
- Include Show & Tell during project status updates. It is always easier for individuals new to the software to understand progress and what is being developed if they can see it.
Why remote implementations?
While the above best practices help to plan for and mitigate issues that may arise during the project, there are clear benefits to remote implementations:
- Access to technical and industry experts wherever they are located. Cast the net wide with no geographical barriers.
- Only pay for time spent on project-related tasks rather than all time spent at the office. This is especially reflected in part-time work.
- Reduce project costs by eliminating travel and living expenses. Spend those funds on extra training, support or save the funds completely
Business continuity is mission-critical. Being able to pivot to new finance, business and operating models will be critical to not only sustain business operations, but also enable rapid re-modelling to address changing customer needs and seize emerging revenue opportunities.
Need help with your remote implementation or sourcing a remote team? Please reach out to Tridant.
Alyssa Brennan | Michelle Susay