Implementation Series: The Three Biggest Bottlenecks in Implementation and How to Avoid Them
This is the first article in our three-part series on the Biggest Bottlenecks in Implementation and How to Avoid Them.
You already know the benefits of performing your plan reviews using a cloud-based solution. But remember, your plan review solution is only as good as it is available, and that begins with implementation. Implementation can go smoothly and quickly, or it could be riddled with issues that cause delays. And delays will ultimately keep the solution from being available for additional weeks or months. The longer it takes for it to be available, the longer it will be before you’ve maximized your efficiency.
We’ve talked with the leading experts in plan review implementations and compiled the top factors that affect the success of the project.
It begins with the discovery phase. The groundwork, expectations, and assignments are laid out at this stage and your project team is inherent to how well the implementation will run in the subsequent phases.
The Right Team
When the agency is selecting its team for the implementation project, it’s important to include the right “mix” of team members. It sounds logical but making the right choices this early on can mean the difference between important factors of the agency’s use being taken into consideration or not. For this reason, you should include not only management and project managers but also actual reviewers, who perform the review tasks as a part of their regular job. It’s not uncommon for the team to be set without including reviewers, to allow them to stay on task and abreast of their workload. However, it’s the reviewers that have the greatest familiarity with the intricate details of the job. Others, who may have a better grasp of the overview of the flow of projects may not have the same insight or place the same priority on the details. And you guessed it – that can result in important aspects being overlooked. Remember, your plan review developer and implementors have a deep understanding of the product and overarching process but need input and feedback from the agency to ensure the solution is configured to serve the individual agency at its best level.
Another factor that can’t be overstated is that every member of the agency’s implementation team gives their full attention to the tasks at hand. We get it – over time, the inclination to multi-task has grown. It’s understandable, as it seems that virtually all employees’ workloads have steadily increased. However, for a project this important, multi-tasking can be counter-productive. The project won’t end up any better than the effort that goes in at the discovery phase. Just like any other part of your job, the preparation for implementation requires attention to the project, action to put in the work to succeed, and ownership of the tasks – in other words, don’t assume it will just get done without putting in the effort needed upfront. It’s at this stage that you set up the rest of the implementation for success or an ongoing barrage of snags. One good way to avoid the snags is for every team member to pay attention. Don’t try to respond to emails, answer calls, or respond to unrelated tasks when you’re in the implementation meetings. The more you engage, the better – and faster – the implementation will go. Until the team truly invests, takes their assignments seriously, and adopts a sense of ownership in the project and its outcome, the implementation will be continually interrupted and unsuccessful.
The last area we’ll cover in the discovery phase is clarity. In this case, clarity comes from not just setting expectations, but also from nomenclature. It’s not uncommon for terms that are common to have different meanings to people in different industries or even different jobs. So, it’s important to understand the terms used from the perspective of all members of the implementation team. Take the time to go over terms and common words early in the process. It doesn’t add much time but will save time throughout the course of the implementation. And team members will be equipped from the start to proceed at a better pace and ultimately, accomplish tasks and goals with far less stress or confusion.
If you have an implementation project coming up, keep the factors we just discussed in mind. You’ll tip the scale for a smoother, faster, and more effective implementation.
Stay tuned for our second article in the series!
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