Planning an IT implementation is like planning a family vacation: exhausting. Sure, everyone has the same goal (relax on the beach; do some hiking; launch a cloud-based CCaaS solution), and you start by choosing a destination (Jackson Hole, San Diego, IT security software).

But after you decide where you want to go, there are a million details to sort out. The more family members, er, stakeholders, the more details need to be accounted for. Choosing a new IT application isn’t enough: you need to build a clear plan that satisfies everyone. Given all the work, it’s a lot easier to sit on the couch and do nothing.

In our experience, companies often spend a huge amount of effort choosing a new technology to purchase while glossing over key details about the implementation. Even though choosing a slick new technology solution can be fun, implementing it can be a nightmare without the right change management.

Implementation planning needs to begin well before the technology is purchased. As soon as a field of solutions/vendors is narrowed down to finalists, it’s time to start the change management process for implementation.

Here are just a few of the items to consider before embarking on a technology road trip of your own:

  • Timeline: Are there hard deadlines on this project? What is a realistic interval for implementation?
  • Testing: Who will oversee testing? Who will sign off on UAT?
  • Training: Will training be remote or in-person? Who will schedule, lead, and confirm training sessions?
  • Decommissioning: Who will decommission old technology? When is the best time to get rid of the old solution in order to maximize cost savings and minimize ETFs?
  • Go-Live: Will the new solution go live all at once, or will it come online in a piecemeal fashion?
  • Project Team: Who will manage the implementation from the vendor side? Who will be responsible from your company? Who will make sure any new PMs understand all the requirements and technical pieces?
  • Financials: How will savings and costs be tracked? Who will validate savings in order to prove your business case?

Get a Project Manager that understands where you’re going.

If a technology implementation is like a vacation, then a good project manager is like a travel agent. They know how to build your plan and get you where you want to go.

A key part of implementation planning is making sure you have the right project management team for the job. A few things to consider when building a project management team:

  • Experience: has your project manager done an implementation like this before?
  • Capacity: How much time will the project manager be able to spend on the implementation per week? How much time is needed?
  • Knowledge: Does your project manager understand the solution? Are they able to understand the interrelated technologies and dependencies?

Let’s take a roadtrip

At CXponent, we know how to get you to your destination. Our team members have been a part of many implementations, from small, bespoke solutions to global network redesigns. We’re happy to ride shotgun on your trip, calling out directions and roadblocks before they even come up.