If you have ever rolled out a new software platform, you know that success hinges on nailing the implementation. Mediocre software that is implemented well can function successfully, but even the best software can’t overcome poor implementation.
3 Questions to Ask Before You Implement Software
This is especially true for digital experience platforms, which are evolving in sophistication and complexity to help meet customers demands.
How do you get the implementation right? Here are three questions to answer before you begin:
Question 1: What Are Our Business KPIs?
In other words, why are you doing this? For example, what is the content strategy that a new CMS will help you deliver? What are the marketing objectives you will achieve by orchestrating customer journeys?
Answering these questions will help your implementation team make the right decisions on everything from the project plan to feature configurations.
If you are new to the fast-changing work of digital experience, these can be tough questions. Bringing in a qualified partner, such as a marketing agency or a strategy consulting firm, to set the strategy at the beginning sets a foundation for success.
At Acquia, we’ve partnered with premier agencies and consulting firms worldwide because we know how important it is for our customers to start with strategy.
Question 2: Should We Implement This Ourselves or Hire Someone to Do It?
If software implementation is not strategic to your business, you definitely need an implementation team to do this for you. You may be tempted to save money and try to get it done yourself even when software implementation is not your strength.
In the end, you will save time and money by paying experts to get this right the first time. I can’t count the number of poor implementations that plague our customers for years to come.
For some Acquia customers, the implementation of their platform is core to their business. For example, we have customers that use Acquia’s products to power their own SaaS product.
They want to own the implementation, but they know they need training and expert help to be successful. Acquia’s Professional Services team specializes in training and advising our customers who want to own the ongoing development of their platforms themselves.
Question 3: Should We Go for a ‘Big Bang’ or Try for ‘Quick Wins’?
Tiresome cliches aside, the choice between trying to solve multiple challenges in one big project or taking an iterative approach is common. Brands that are overdue for a digital makeover need to make a lot of progress quickly.
Funding for big digital projects can be hard to come by, making the choice to bundle all your marketing hopes and dreams into one software implementation very compelling. Quick wins are easier to achieve but might not generate the results needed to justify the project.
At Acquia, we’re big fans of the “crawl, walk, run” approach to software adoption. By implementing a minimum viable product and seeing how your team and your customers react, you’ll make more informed decisions during the next round of implementation. It can be a battle to convince your organization to invest the time and resources needed for this approach, but you will ultimately be much more successful.
Vangie CleverseySVP, CUSTOMER SUCCESS Acquia
As senior vice president of customer success, Vangie Cleversey leads the global teams that serve Acquia’s customers and partners with onboarding, training and professional services. In addition, she drives customer success initiatives.
Before joining Acquia in 2015, Vangie spent 25-plus years at various agencies. Most recently, Vangie was Northeast general manager at Mobiquity where she worked closely with customers on their mobile strategies and applications. Before that she was senior vice president of business development at Optaros, focused on helping customers evolve their commerce strategies and applications. She also spent 11 years at Isobar as executive vice president and managing director.
Vangie and her family live in Westborough, Massachusetts. She earned her undergraduate degree from Smith College and an MBA from F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.