Congratulations! You’ve taken a step toward bettering your organization’s operations by investing in a software solution. Now that you’ve established a relationship with a consulting partner and kicked off your project by signing on the dotted line, you’re ready for your next project phase — Discovery. If you haven’t brushed up on the typical milestones of the Discovery Phase, check them out here. Within any Discovery Phase, a consulting partner will make it a priority to first define roles, responsibilities and organizational structure between your team and theirs. This includes assessing and nominating the appropriate internal staff to take part in project delivery. Whether that internal team is comprised of a Project Manager, Executive Stakeholder or Project Lead, Director of Sales, Director of Marketing, IT leadership or most importantly a Salesforce Administrator, is completely predicated upon what resources you choose to allocate toward the project. That way, your consulting partner knows exactly what each person is responsible for and can assign project tasks accordingly.
If you’ve used time, energy and resources to select the right software and software implementation experts, then it only makes sense to hold your internal staff designation process with the same regard (or higher). So that begs the question, how do you select the right internal employees to facilitate a software implementation?
Remember when I mentioned the role of an internal Salesforce Administrator above? This person doesn’t necessarily have to be a full-time in-house employee, in that there’s always the option to lean on consulting agencies to contract out Salesforce talent specifically. However, in the instance that you do employ an internal Salesforce Admin (and many organizations do), then your best bet is to ensure that individual participates in all relevant project conversations.
Recognize those who are naturally open to change, uniformly forward-thinking and eager to help bring your organization into a new era of operational ease. This is an integral part of maximizing utilization of your new software. Remember, trailblazers and visionaries don’t always carry a leadership title in an official capacity. In fact, these passion players are sometimes those that are yearning for a promotion or a new chapter in their career, but haven’t had the chance to exhibit themselves as powerful change agents.
While good energy and a knack for technology are crucial qualities for any prospective project candidate, it’s important that those people have the bandwidth to devote time and focused attention throughout the entire duration of the project timeline. Avoid overburdening staff who are already juggling too much in their day-to-day schedules, and remain flexible to freeing up their current work obligations so they can provide project reps with undivided attention.
Pro Tip: After your software solution goes live, you’ll still need dedicated personnel available for the ebbs and flows of every user adoption phase. Instead of giving internal project players the green light to “go back” to their regular day job, make sure you have a road map that indicates when they will need to allocate their time and energy into driving and maintaining adoption of the new tool. Taking this action will really work to cement the software into your organization’s DNA.
Dreamers are important but mobilizers are equally as important because they get stuff done. Employees who have a consistent track record of following through and meeting deadlines is key to ensuring your project stays under budget. If you nominate project players who lack the ability to provide necessary information to the consulting partner in a timely fashion or complete project assignments past an agreed upon due date, project workflow efficiency takes a hit and budget will increase as a result.
At first glance this might read as elementary, but when implementing an expensive software solution, organizations must be cautious of internal employees who innately operate based on self-interest. For example, when consultants are evaluating dashboard reporting needs and architecture, decisions on dashboard design and KPI goals must fit the objectives of every department that plans to use it. If a Director of Sales makes the decision to dictate dashboard format solely based on sales department objectives, without getting a pulse for Marketing and Support team needs, a long-term problem will persist. Select individuals who are trustworthy and understand the magnitude of needing to take into account a 360 degree view of the company.
It’s important to assemble an internal team of project players who understand and deeply value the effects that team chemistry can have on a successful project outcome. Project staff should be selected based on their ability to organically facilitate collaboration when going head-to-head with long hours, challenging (and sometimes stressful) situations and varying degrees of frustration throughout the project. These individuals’ skillsets should include but not be limited to conflict resolution — a general sense of level-headedness and flexibility for maximum results.
Don’t be afraid to interview your employees before formally selecting staff members to serve as a project stakeholder. Want more information on how to cultivate an A-Team of an internal project players? Contact our consulting experts today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis is an experienced business and consulting executive having spent the last 20+ years in the technology sector, most of which was with emerging companies. Utilizing his diverse experience Dennis is often the “go to” guy when it comes to navigating change, establishing operational imperatives, or just plain getting something done. He gets no greater satisfaction than helping staff progress in their careers and mentoring new managers as they emerge as leaders.
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