What Makes for a Successful Retail Software Implementation Project?
Island Pacific has been providing global retail solutions for over 40 years. Adopting a proven implementation methodology which has been refined over many years. Lou Handy an Island Pacific Project Manager gives some key tips which make a successful implementation project for retailers.
Choose a Vendor with a Proven Methodology
Is the software provider established and can they illustrate a proven methodology for the product being implemented? Have they implemented the software in other comparable companies, and can they outline how this was delivered, timescale and methodology?
Clearly Define Project Charter
It’s crucial to have a clearly defined Project Charter at the beginning of the project, which will help keep the implementation on track. The project charter should outline the software implementation plan, specific roles and responsibilities. Helping eliminate any potential grey areas and ensures everyone involved is aware of theirs and everyone else’s part in the plan. Without a project charter there will be no direction, no clear expectation of the project and ultimately a potential failed implementation.
Proactive Risk Management, allow for Flexibility
Ensure you have a proactive approach to risk management which allows for flexibility. It’s important to have a process for identifying any potential issues early, to allow for a measured proactive resolution rather than a reactive fire fighting response. Keep a log of any issues found work through resolutions with involved parties and then communicate the outcome.
Effective management of third parties
The management of third parties is often one of the elements which retailers forget to consider until it becomes a problem. Take time to identify and communicate with all potential stakeholders and the part they will need to play during the process and ensure that this is included and communicated from the outset.
Communication is King
Finally, communication really is king. Right from the start its crucial to adopt an honest, open dialogue between Project Managers, team members and the Steering Group.
An Experienced Team
There really is no substitute for experience. It really is worth taking the time to investigate who will help deliver the software. How much real-world experience does the team possess? As a retailer you really want to know that the team who will help deliver the implementation has a good track record in project delivery. This should provide the confidence that the team really can deliver on their promises. Equally when selecting the in-house team, if possible, select individuals who have a positive approach and credentials in managing change and delivering results.
About Lou Handy
Lou brings a wealth of retail insight and business acumen to any retail software implementation. During his time at Island Pacific, Lou has project managed Island Pacific solutions into many global retail brands. With over 20 year’s project management experience at Island Pacific.