Part 2: Why Agile Is Essential for FSM & EAM Implementation
April 19, 2023
In a previous blog, we discussed the use of Agile in business and field service to increase collaboration, reduce cycle times, and create continuous improvement.
Now, let’s get into why Agile is so important when implementing new software.
In today’s fast paced work and technology environment, resources are at their capacity/peak for their most valuable tool, TIME. In order to accommodate a fast paced implementation, system integrators must manage multiple resources on multiple tasks independently and without constraints. Therefore managing with an Agile and Iterative perspective is critical.
Every new software implementation starts out the gate with known and often severe obstacles. First, the team responsible for implementing new software tools must still maintain their full time jobs outside of the implementation process. Second, new software often means new functional processes and procedures. Finally, challenges abound and organizational change management rears its head early on throughout your adoption process. Knowing these obstacles exist in every organization, getting users to adopt new software is no joke, and requires careful planning, foresight, and most important, empathy.
Last time, we explained that Agile is an iterative process that requires collaboration across all functional teams. During each stage of implementation, the use of Agile to coordinate the launch team at your organization with the team at the SaaS company whose software you are implementing becomes a key make-it-or-break-it factor.
Perfect Preparation Makes for Perfect Implementation (AKA Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance)
Prior to launching the implementation efforts, your team and the SaaS team should meet to create and collaborate on the project plan, breaking down steps into weekly or bi-weekly schedules. Once the plan is in place, getting the right people to move the project forward is the next major task.
At KloudGin, we are huge fans of the Agile implementation approach. Recently, KloudGin deployed the Agile process with one of our largest customers. The methodology allowed our implementation team to streamline requirements across multiple strategic business units (SBU) across the US. In typical implementations, tasks within these business units must be passed around from one to another for completion. Agile allows tasks to progress without being dependent on any single SBU completing assigned tasks prior to another. Our team initiated a work order process flow from work order creation to billing across three departments (project management, purchasing and accounting) with an agile and iterative approach to fulfill all design requirements. Defined “Sprints” (7 day periods) were used to build out functional diagrams and business flow functionality. We scheduled recurring and independent meetings with each business unit’s sponsor and associated resources to complete the tasks within each sprint. This approach puts the best resource in the room for their expertise and functional area on their timeline. This leads to successful sprints, successful milestone achievements, and an overall successful implementation. We have used this Agile approach to implement new customers in just 10 weeks! Working together, teams can create an exceptional customer experience while delivering these new platforms successfully.
Next time we’ll discuss using agile for software development.
Tanya brings expertise driving growth for small and mid-sized businesses and managing successful marketing programs. Her experience includes leading marketing teams at SaaS start-ups and private equity companies like Bigleaf Networks, Innovyze, and NAVEX. Tanya received her Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.