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Maximize Your Investment: 10 Key Strategies for Effective Packaged Software Implementations

Book Description

Accelerate packaged (COTS) software implementations, increase returns on investment, and reduce implementation costs and customizations

  • Develop implementation approaches that maximize packaged software advantages and minimize packaged software challenges

  • Reduce implementation costs, increase knowledge generation, and reduce non-value-added implementation activities

  • Enable customers to lead during the implementation to maximize long term success

  • Follow the Ten Essential Principles for implementing a business solution and learn best practices, tips and tricks

In Detail

Using packaged software for Customer Relationship Management or Enterprise Resource Planning is often seen as a sure-fire way to reduce costs, refocus scarce resources, and increase returns on investment. However, research shows that the majority of packaged or Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) implementations fail to provide this value due to the implementation approach taken.

Authored by Grady Brett Beaubouef, who has over fifteen years of packaged software implementation experience, this book will help you define an effective implementation strategy for your packaged software investment.

The book focuses on Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) implementations, and helps you to successfully implement packaged software. Using a step-by-step approach, it begins with an assessment of the limitations of current implementation methods for packaged software. It then helps you to analyze your requirements and offers 10 must-know principles gleaned from real-world packaged software implementations. These 10 principles cover how to maximize enhancements and minimize customizations, focus on business results, and negotiate for success, and so on. You will learn how to best leverage these principles as part of your implementation. As you progress through the book, you will learn how to put packaged software into action with forethought, planning, and proper execution. Doing so will lead to reductions in implementation costs, customizations, and development time.

Table of Contents

  1. Maximize Your Investment: 10 Key Strategies for Effective Packaged Software Implementations
    1. Maximize Your Investment: 10 Key Strategies for Effective Packaged Software Implementations
    2. Credits
    3. About the Author
    4. Acknowledgement
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. Preface
      1. Vision of the future
      2. Purpose of this book
      3. Out of scope for this book
      4. What this book covers
      5. Who this book is for
      6. Conventions
      7. Reader feedback
      8. Customer support
        1. Errata
        2. Piracy
        3. Questions
    7. 1. The Silo Approach is Alive and Well
      1. Why do we need to change?
        1. Robbins-Gioia Survey
        2. Conference Board Survey
        3. Business solution defined
        4. What is the most important component of a business solution?
        5. What is wrong with existing packaged software implementations?
          1. IT does not matter? Think again!
          2. Is technology changing Business?
      2. Ten principles for implementing a business solution
        1. Principle #1 for implementing a business solution
        2. Principle #2 for implementing a business solution
        3. Principle #3 for implementing a business solution
        4. Principle #4 for implementing a business solution
        5. Principle #5 for implementing a business solution
          1. Battle of camps
          2. Soap box — Bashing methodologies
          3. Customer-specific implementation
        6. Principle #6 for implementing a business solution
        7. Principle #7 for implementing a business solution
        8. Principle #8 for implementing a business solution
        9. Principle #9 for implementing a business solution
          1. Observations
        10. Principle #10 for implementing a business solution
      3. Summary
      4. References
    8. 2. Focus on Business Results
      1. Challenging today's mindset
        1. We focus only on what we measure
        2. Project scope fixates on software features
        3. Focus on key drivers for business results
        4. What results generate business value?
      2. How to focus on business results during an implementation
        1. Conduct business training
        2. Implementation documentation should be Business-oriented
        3. Use value-added Business results to filter requirements
        4. Project objectives should address business results
      3. Summary
      4. References
    9. 3. Invest in Your Implementation Partners
      1. Making the investment
        1. Document existing business processes
          1. Enterprise modeling approach
        2. Build trust in the implementation partner
        3. Educate the implementation partner on the existing business solution
        4. Complete packaged software implementation questionnaires
        5. Conduct project orientation with the implementation partner
          1. Complete packaged software training before the implementation partner's arrival
      2. What to expect from your implementation partner
        1. Predefined business process models
        2. Detailed Business process maps
        3. Packaged software implementation questionnaires
        4. Certified business solution experts
      3. Summary
      4. References
    10. 4. Enable the Customer to Lead During the Implementation
      1. Enabling the customer to lead is a process
        1. Educate
          1. Best Practice: Knowledge transfer plan
        2. Enable
        3. Empower
        4. Celebrate
      2. Enablement requires different leadership styles
        1. Implications for implementation partners
      3. Summary
      4. References
    11. 5. Perform Business Solution Modeling
      1. Defining prototyping and business solution modeling
        1. Prototyping
        2. Business solution modeling
      2. Conducting Business solution modeling
      3. Recommendations for conducting Business solution modeling
        1. Customer's knowledge of existing business activities
        2. Use real customer data during modeling
        3. Best practice: Number of iterations for business solution modelling
        4. Core Business practices — consistency
        5. Have multiple disciplines represented
      4. Value proposition for Business solution modeling
        1. Provides a working proof of concept
        2. Validates software configuration
        3. Creates a baseline model for impact analysis
        4. Enables business solution training
        5. Identifies challenges early
        6. Facilitates and promotes customer interaction and quick decision-making
      5. Challenges with business solution modeling
        1. Won't Business solution modelling slow me down? Is it worth the cost?
      6. Summary
      7. Reference
    12. 6. Determining the Correct Implementation Approach
      1. Who is the leader — Business or IT?
      2. Solution-based approach
        1. Business solution component: People
        2. Business solution component: Business processes
        3. Business solution component: Technology
      3. Disciplines used in a Business solution implementation
        1. Project management
        2. Software development
          1. Hybrid implementation approach
        3. Organizational change management
        4. Business process management and Quality management
      4. Selecting the correct methodology
          1. Factor: Size of the implementation
          2. Factor: Personnel capabilities
          3. Factor: Risk
          4. Factor: Business-IT relationship and culture
        1. Business model dynamics
        2. Factor: Guiding principles for a methodology
      5. Applying methodologies for COTS implementations
        1. Integrating methodologies
        2. Project management
          1. Silo versus holistic focus
          2. Project control
          3. Risk versus reward
          4. Balanced project leadership between Business and IT
        3. Software development
          1. Sequential development versus business process development
          2. Tailoring software development for COTS
        4. Organizational change management
          1. Defining the current business model the and future business model
          2. Organizational requirements
          3. Field readiness plan
        5. Deployment strategy
          1. Advantages and disadvantages of COTS deployment strategies
        6. Global considerations
      6. Summary
      7. References
    13. 7. Implement to the Current Business Maturity Level
      1. Features and capabilities
      2. Software design tools
      3. To customize or not to customize
        1. Challenge with technology-driven change
      4. Understanding Business solution maturity
        1. Business process performance within a maturity level
          1. Illustration for a Professional Services Organization
        2. Defining the evolutionary path of a business solution
          1. Three broad categories of business processes
            1. Revenue generating
            2. Revenue supporting
            3. Regulatory and compliance
      5. Best Practice — Implement to the current maturity level
          1. Minimize evolving business requirements
          2. Minimize organizational change
          3. Maximize opportunity for rapid delivery
      6. Summary
      7. Reference
    14. 8. Minimizing Customizations and Maximizing Enhancements
      1. Requirements-driven strategy
      2. Solution-driven strategy
      3. Configuration-driven strategy
      4. Requirements management revisited
        1. Gathering requirements
        2. Analyzing requirements
        3. Validating requirements
        4. Selecting requirements
      5. Value-added requirements management
        1. Iteration #1 — listen to the customer
        2. Iteration #2 — Lead the customer
        3. Iteration #3 — Confirm with the customer
        4. Challenging business requirements
        5. Customizations versus enhancements
          1. What are customizations?
          2. What are enhancements?
      6. Challenges and risks with valued-added requirements management
      7. Summary
    15. 9. Negotiate for Success
      1. Trickle down acceptance falls short
      2. Developing an effective negotiation strategy
        1. Paradigm shift in business software expectations
        2. Paradigm shift in organizational acceptance
        3. Understand when and where to negotiate
        4. Utilize your packaged software provider
        5. Ensuring successful negotiations
        6. Building momentum
        7. Marketing your solution
      3. Summary
      4. References
    16. 10. Have a Business Solution Architect
      1. Perspectives of a Business solution
      2. Who is covering business processes?
      3. Solution - Business Solution Architect
        1. Responsibilities
        2. Qualifications
      4. Best practices for identifying conflicts
        1. Identify functional boundaries
        2. Identify packaged software dependencies and shared components
        3. Perform a business process-oriented review of requirements and software configuration
        4. Validate conflicts
        5. Assign work in a process-oriented fashion
      5. Summary
    17. 11. Accelerate Decisions by Generating More Knowledge and Less Information
      1. Traditional information gathering approach
        1. Information versus knowledge
      2. Decision-oriented information gathering
        1. Implementation scope defines the decisions
        2. Best practices influence the decisions
      3. Effective knowledge generation
        1. Gather information
        2. Review information (evaluate)
        3. Refining information (enrich)
        4. Relate information (context)
      4. Enabling decision makers
        1. Project on-boarding
        2. Maximize interactions with the project team
      5. Summary
    18. 12. Changing the Game
      1. Traditional approaches fall short
      2. Understanding packaged software advantages and challenges
        1. Maximize the advantages of packaged software
          1. Drive standardization
          2. Greater focus on strategic activities
          3. Potential for rapid deployment
          4. Shared IT development costs
          5. Simplify the IT footprint
        2. Minimize challenges with packaged software
          1. Organizational change impact
          2. Perception of setbacks
          3. Discipline to maximize COTS investment
          4. Different implementation approach
      3. Change the game by changing strategy
      4. Summary
      5. References
    19. A. Summary of Challenges