Implementation Strategies

Kurt Lingohr -

What's the best way to roll the system out to all the users?

Based on our experience with client implementations there are a variety of ways to approach this. There is no single 'best' method there is only the best method for your organisation.

Keep in mind the following points:

  • Where are your current bookings stored? To honour these bookings they will need to be entered in to the new system.
  • Communication is important so have a well-rounded communication plan including Intranet links, access to the user guide and who to contact for help.

Approach # 1 - Site by Site

Choose a site or sites that are going to be the guinnea pigs. This could be the site at which you are based for quick and easy troubleshooting just in case there are glitches or configuration changes are needed. The choice of initial site may also be a discrete group or department that are receptive and willing participants. Once the initial site or sites are bedded in, commence the roll out to satellite sites.

Key here is the communication plan - keep the site administrators informed of the project and likely roll out dates. Publishing a story on the intranet or company newsletter might be a good idea. There is likely to be resistance at some sites if they feel the soverignty of the vehicles is under threat.

This approach is preferred by most clients.

Approach # 2 - Train the Trainers

One client used this approach rather well. What are you using for vehicle bookings now, is it paper diaries or outlook? Under this approach the system is in 'test' mode for a period of weeks. During this time all site admins are encouraged to use the system and enter the existing bookings from that site's diary or outlook into the new system. This closes out the 'old' way of recording bookings and at the same time provides real world training for the site admins. Be sure to rule a solid line in the diary at which time no more bookings are to be entered into the diary.

Approach # 3 - Test Drive

Open the system up to any one who is interested and let them enter dummy bookings. Make it clear that on a given date, all bookings will be deleted and the system will then become live as opposed to test system. This especially gives the site admins a period of time to climatise to the new system.

Approach # 4 - Shotgun

If your organisation is up for it, this approach simply blasts out an email to everyone saying the new system is live. This approach relies on the ease of use of the sytsem - even the most luddite of PC users will find the system self explanatory and simple to use. This email 'blast' could be supplemented with a link to your Intranet's help page or even the user guide.

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We hope the above information is helpful. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us for a discussion of your requirements.

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