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Unveiling the Hidden Factors: Why Your Implementation is Failing

Businessman working on a project
by BHG Staff

03.19.24

Blue Horizons Group is an end-to-end service provider and consultancy for your revenue operations strategies and systems.

Implementing new Sales Performance Management (SPM)software solutions often promise increased efficiency, streamlined processes, and enhanced revenue generation. However, beneath the surface lies a sobering reality: the staggering failure rates of software implementation projects. Despite meticulous planning and clear-cut requirements, most of these endeavors fall short of expectations, with statistics from reputable sources like Gartner indicating failure rates as high as 70 to 80 percent.

At Blue Horizons Group, we have conducted many successful SPM solution implementations for companies of all sizes. This experience has allowed us to recognize the common symptoms of failed implementations and given us the knowledge of how to mitigate these risks. In this blog, we’ve unearthed a multitude of factors that often go overlooked but play pivotal roles in determining project success.

Start communicating

Communication emerges as a cornerstone of successful implementation. Beyond just sharing information, effective communication fosters a common understanding of project goals, expectations, and responsibilities among all stakeholders. Establishing clear channels of communication, delineating roles and responsibilities, and fostering stakeholder engagement are imperative for your project’s success. A 360-degree communication plan ensures that all parties involved are aligned with project objectives, thereby minimizing misunderstandings and maximizing collaboration. Regular status updates, stakeholder meetings, and feedback facilitate ongoing dialogue and promote transparency, enabling timely identification and resolution of issues before they can appear.

Get your data ready

The readiness of data holds enormous significance, particularly in sales performance management initiatives. Ensuring that your data is not only available but is also clean, complete, accurate, and formatted appropriately for integration into the new system is an often overlooked process and can spell the difference between success and failure. Data quality, consistency, and compatibility are critical considerations that must be addressed early in the implementation process. Organizations must conduct thorough data assessments to identify potential gaps, inconsistencies, or inaccuracies and develop strategies to rectify them. Data migration plans should encompass data cleansing and accurate processes to ensure seamless transition to the new system. By investing time and resources in data readiness, organizations can mitigate risks associated with data-related issues during implementation, thereby enhancing the overall success of the project.

Always be testing

Testing, often relegated to a formality, emerges as a critical phase in the implementation lifecycle. Rigorous testing, conducted in alignment with real-world scenarios, is indispensable for uncovering potential pitfalls and ensuring system reliability. Comprehensive test plans should encompass functional, performance, and user acceptance testing to validate the system works across various scenarios. User acceptance testing empowers end-users to validate the system against their specific requirements, ensuring that it meets their needs and expectations. Neglecting comprehensive testing not only compromises the integrity of your new solution but can also incur costs alongside users losing trust in the new system. By prioritizing testing and allocating adequate resources, organizations can minimize the risk of post-implementation issues and optimize the long-term success of the project.

Involve your stakeholders

The role of sponsors and stakeholders is crucial in determining a project’s success. Engaging the right sponsors who possess a vested interest in the project’s outcome is essential for securing necessary resources and driving organizational buy-in. Stakeholder engagement should extend beyond mere participation to active involvement and ownership of the project. Organizations must identify key stakeholders and involve them in decision-making processes, solicit their feedback and input, and address their concerns and expectations throughout the implementation process. Assembling a competent implementation team of individuals with the requisite skills and availability is indispensable for navigating the complexities of software deployment. 

However, it’s not just about the stakeholders and the project team. Users, the individuals who will interact with the software daily, are equally critical to the success of the implementation. Involving users from the early stages of the project ensures that their needs and preferences are considered, increasing the likelihood of user adoption and satisfaction. User input can inform decisions related to system configuration, workflow design, and training strategies, ultimately enhancing the usability and effectiveness of the software solution. Collaborative partnerships between both internal and external stakeholders, including users, foster a culture of shared accountability and commitment, driving project success and fostering long-term organizational growth. 

Going forward

By embracing a total approach that includes communication, stakeholder engagement, data readiness, resource alignment, and comprehensive testing, organizations can significantly enhance the likelihood of project success. 

At Blue Horizon Group, we can use our vast knowledge and experience to work with our clients to address all the hidden factors of an implementation project. By recognizing and addressing the factors that contribute to failure, we guide our clients on implementations that are efficient and lasting. Together, let’s redefine the narrative surrounding software implementations and pave the way for transformative outcomes in sales performance management. 

2024-03-19T22:01:25+00:00

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