When it comes to SaaS business solutions, we like to encourage self-implementation where we can. Are we crazy? Perhaps not!
ERP/CRM failure rates are high. Some say as high as 75%.
Boiling this down, we see the main reasons are:
- Sold the wrong product. ERP systems are sold not purchased. This means that as a buyer (and not a ERP expert), you are exposed to being sold a bill of goods that may not be in your best interest. The worst part of this is that it does not manifest itself until during the implementation, generally after significant cash outlay.
- Poor planning and execution. To cut corners and "reduce" costs, companies offer "quick start" packages or skip over the meticulous planning (and controls) that are necessary for a successful deployment. This does not materialize until later in the project or worse; when you are live.
- Change management. Like it or not, your employees do not like change. It means a lot more work than their normal day to day duties, and as a result they can become very resentful, nervous or even "malicious". If this happens, enthusiasm fades, adoption levels decline and, at worse, the entire implementation can be jeopardized.
Notice. None of these reasons actually involve the implementation itself.
In fact, SaaS implementation projects rarely go wrong. Assuming you are on the right product, implementation is for the most part non-technical. We believe the customer can (and should) perform most of the business-related implementation tasks. However, there are some considerations:
- There MUST be a comprehensive process and project plan in place that has been put together by experts who have done this before
- The plan MUST be fully adopted by management and the implementation team
- There is some budget set aside for mentoring, coaching and milestone/checkpoint analysis
- Assigned staff will need focus; help by backfilling parts of their day to day duties.
The advantages are clear:
- Significantly reduced implementation costs, that the customer controls
- Higher levels of knowledge for when you go live; reduces training/support costs and confusion
- Better chance of adoption by involvement
- Better quality implementation that maps real-life as well as theoretical best practice
- Ironically, less overall risk
At Tactics we separated our project management tasks from the implementation itself a long time ago; it simply suits some customers better.