5 Tips to Make Your Benefits Technology Implementation Easier
Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2015 by Natalie McLinden
Technology implementation. If it sounds complex, it’s because it is. All at once you’re navigating a new relationship with a new service provider, learning new technology and implementing a new solution for not only you but also your employees. An implementation gone well will carry through to a successful new partnership, whereas an implementation gone wrong can be difficult to recover from. So how do you make the most of your implementation to ensure it goes as smooth as possible and sets both partners up to succeed?
1. Know Where You’re Coming From
Where did you come from and where are you going? Determining if you’re coming from a paper, SaaS, BPO, or ERP platform will frame the conversations with your new vendor and will affect what needs to be done during implementation. A paper to SaaS implementation, for example, will be much different from a ERP to SaaS implementation. Knowing where you’re coming from will have a major affect on what your implementation process will look like.
2. Communication is Key
The #1 reason marriages fail is communication, and the same goes for new service provider relationships. If you aren’t able to successfully communicate with your new partner, things are going to get sticky and it won’t set you up for long-term success.
3. Leave the Baggage Behind
You’re likely switching technology providers because something went wrong with your old one. There might have been problems with the technology, or maybe the relationship. Whatever the reason, leave it behind! Coming into a new implementation is not the time to harp on your old pain point with your new provider — it’s a time to focus on a fresh start.
4. Know Who Is Doing What
Have a dedicated project manager who will manage based on your timeline, escalate issues when necessary and administer meetings. Your vendor should be in charge of creating meeting agendas, testing, manage carrier relationships and identifying risk areas. Your responsibility should include involving the right stakeholders, responding timely, committing to meeting deadlines, understanding time commitments, managing competing priorities, and most of all, be trusting of your new provider.
5. Create a Working Agreement
Get the whole team on the same page by creating a working agreement before starting the implementation process. In the working agreement, define the definition of success and failure, communication needs and what items are missable and unmissable. Consider establishing a safe word to use if things get sticky or there are bumps in the road.
Implementation can be both an exciting and stressful time. Bottom line: remember to trust your new vendor with the process. They’ve been through it dozens of times before, and you chose them for a reason!