When investing in stakeholder information management software it’s important to put some serious thought into implementation. Optimizing set up to account for how users and the software interact will help assure a positive outcome for your project.
What are the key factors impacting the successful implementation of stakeholder relationship management software for both the people using it as well as the system itself?
Every team member involved needs to understand the role they play in the setup and ongoing use of a new software system. This includes both staff and consultants. Developing a detailed plan that includes user roles and responsibilities is important. As well, transparency about the desired outcomes should be communicated in order to generate genuine motivation and participation.
- Create a plan: All plans surrounding design, deployment, configuration strategies and maintenance need to be company or department specific. Generic plans adopted from other projects or systems won’t address the unique policies and practices of a new system.
- Assemble a team: Members from different departments will be affected, so ensure that all departments involved are on the same track and clear about the reason for the stakeholder management software, the goals of its use, and the overall usage expectations.
- Think long term: Plans should be drafted and reviewed on a regular, scheduled basis. Assign roles to address specific challenges as they arise, and empower system users to identify and deal with problems.
Since no two stakeholder management software systems are identical, different companies are likely to use a system in different ways. Targets, stakeholders and expectations may be similar project to project, but never exact. Business needs will also need to be amended over the life span of a project.
- Have a solid plan for user groups and permission settings: Deploying stakeholder relationship management software requires the implementation of a structure/system that will become vital to regulating user access control.
- Ensure quality data is preserved: Corrupted data imported into your new system is a big problem. It’s much easier to properly for export from the old system, and having a strictly standardized data format.
- Monitoring and adjusting: Improve the system over time, and adjust design and configurations when necessary. Create ways to measure or monitor adherence by attaching measurements to your objectives through the use of key performance indicators.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Challenges are likely to arise with the deployment of any new business tool, but organizations can mitigate the risk of failure by understanding the pitfalls.
Many companies face difficulties when deploying stakeholder engagement and management programs because they fail to plan ahead, or don’t define the company’s goals.
- Rushing for a solution: Make sure the system addresses the problem it was selected for and aligns with the company’s objectives and strategies. Choosing the right software is the first step towards best practices adherence.
- Over-customization of the software: Using a stakeholder information management software system without identifying the configuration that best suits your company will increase challenges and poor outcomes.
- Auto pilot – Not driving your project home: Even the most strategic vision for a stakeholder relationship management software system deployment will fail if the plan is neglected. Review the company’s strategies periodically to assess effectiveness. Revise strategic plans as needed.
The long-term results of proper implementation include obvious benefits such as better data quality and integrity, more organized records for quick reference and access, enhanced security and privacy, and a system that truly supports the work of the company employing it.
Other less-obvious benefits include a confident and empowered stakeholder consultation team, the ability to track and manage stakeholder communication, and ultimately better relationships with the stakeholders themselves, who will feel that the information they are contributing is being treated with careful consideration.
For more tips on how to successfully implement your stakeholder software check out our free guide.