Careful Matching, Education, Commitment and Management
No magic. We have achieved a high system implementation success rate by careful selection of the matching client, seriously educating the client buy-side and sell-side responsibilities and do’s and don’ts , trying very hard to obtain the serious commitments from the senior management of both the buy-side and the sell-side and having experienced project managers and competent consultants and systematical monitoring for the implementation project. Some of our competitors claim that they would never lose a deal because of price, but we can’t make such a claim because of the things that we must do mentioned above. Our modern Java J2EE technology, reusable component design, configuration management methodology and experienced engineering team provide us the great capability to reconfigure or customize our software for our client, but careful matching, education, commitment and management are still absolutely necessary in order to make the implementation project successful.
System acquisition and implementation is similar to ordering your custom-made home. If you and your family don’t know whether you want to build a 1-story or 3-story house, you are better off not building it.
If you go ahead to sign a contract with a blueprint of a flat ceiling and no basement and then after 2 floors of the house are already built and you want an ecclesiastical ceiling and a walkout basement, then either the builder will need to ask you for more money or it will go bankrupt.
It isn’t that once the blueprint is signed, not even one screw can be changed. But respecting what were said and what were legally signed that the builder has used as the base for costing, planning and execution is very key. If you don’t manage yourself and your family to say clearly what you want upfront, it would be possibly tremendous time and material wasted. In an organization that heavily depends on systems for their day-to-day operations, they would possibly fire the employees who are irresponsible and prohibit the entire organization from advancing to the next level of automation and systematical management.
When implementing a new system, both buy side and sell side must respect the requirement study process since nobody can really read your mind if your don’t take responsibility on your own communications. If you miss 2%, it is understandable. If you miss 10%, that is still subject to negotiation but you still have a reasonable chance to be able work out. If you were not respecting the process and cited N generic reports just with titles and did not review the generic reports stated in the blueprint before your company signed it and at the end you say you must have 10xN highly customized reports, you will end up disrupting the project and everyone will need pay the price for your irresponsible behaviors.
Please keep in mind that not only efforts doing the extra work cost money. Reserved resources (rental equipment, people) sitting there waiting for the new requirements or change confirmations cost tremendous amount of money as well.
No consultant or manager can 100% control client’s behaviors, but you must manage time table, gaps and escalations or you aren’t a qualified sell-side consultant or manager. Your job is not letting time, efforts and money wasted because of the above-said irresponsible behaviors by forcing leaders from both the buy-side and the sell-side to look at the problems and negotiate. Once the large amount of time, efforts and money were already wasted, someone must pay the bill and that process would be 10 times more painful, destructive and ugly than if you escalated.
Worse, if you are missing some work that you are supposed to do, taking advantage of the delay because of the buy-side changing requirements and not pushing your own side to strictly follow the schedule and believing that you can blame the total lateness to the buy-side, you are intermixing the problems which is making the problems 10 times harder to resolve and project can slip endless and so the loss of your company.
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