Best Practices from page 16
• Hold a kick-off meeting for the implementation team.
Review the project charter and details of scope, schedule, budget, roles and responsibilities, reporting, etc.
• Encourage departmental managers to hold regular
meetings within their groups to hear and address
questions, concerns, and suggestions.
Schedule and conduct regular status meetings. These meetings fall into two categories: strategic and tactical.
• Strategic meetings usually involve the entire team and
serve to update everyone about project status, changes
in scope or schedule, roadblocks, or issues that must
• Tactical meetings are for certain team members to
work out specific issues (for example, the details of
payroll burden setup and its impact on job cost,
accounting, and billing).
The team should also communicate regularly with all other
stakeholders. Some of the most successful implementation
projects we’ve worked on featured regular newsletters that
provided high-level summaries of project status and other
topics addressed in the strategic meetings.
Newsletters also present an opportunity to publicize and celebrate project successes (such as the completion of key
milestones) and to recognize the efforts of team members
who go “above and beyond” to keep the project on track.
Training, Training, Training
Training is almost always the implementation component
with the highest payback. Well-trained users will:
• Use the software more effectively to realize your company’s
• Be happier because they will be spared the frustration
of figuring out how to use the new software on their
• Make fewer errors and, therefore, improve efficiency
and enhance the likelihood your company will realize
its business objectives for this project.
Remember: Understanding an integrated system with
controls and audit trails that affects your entire company
is more complicated than learning how to create Excel
Effective enterprise software training goes beyond helping
users understand how to use the software – it helps put the
applications, processes, and procedures into the context of
the business outcomes your company wants to accomplish.
When users understand why they are being asked to provide more information or work in a more structured environment, they are much more likely to accept and work
with the new system.
The best practice is to design your company’s training program to address the needs of two classes of users:
team’s functional experts and
2) your company’s end users.
TEAM FUNCTIONAL EXPERTS
This group will make decisions about business practices and
software configuration. Therefore, these team members will
need more comprehensive training to understand all of the
software’s capabilities and to make the right decisions about
how your company will use them.
COMPANY END USERS
As the name implies, this group will use software as it is configured. End-user training must be more concise and specific
– literally, “Here’s how you do it.” And, the trainer needs to
understand what these users need to know before training
Presenting end users with a dazzling array of system configuration options leads to confusion. End users need to
understand the goals that were set and how their work will
change. It’s best to pare the training down to the essentials.
This also reduces training time and cost. The following
examples should prove helpful: continued on page 20