The Art & Science of Implementations
Since our founding, Alleon Group has led several assessments with the goal of optimizing the operations of businesses – across the US and beyond. In many cases, the most daunting part of any optimization initiative is the implementation phase. A well organized and thoroughly thought-out plan is imperative. Throughout our experience, Alleon has developed several best practices that have proven effective. We wanted to share a few with you:
1. Fostering Open & Honest Collaboration Between Partners
As in anything in business, collaboration is vital. Both clients and partners must be willing to come to the table with their ideas and expectations while being prepared to be challenged when necessary. It is incredibly easy for expectations to become assumptions. Alleon Group has a method of facilitating these conversations early in the process to ensure project scope and what success looks like is clearly defined.
2. Creating a Clear Plan with a Well-Defined Path for Deliverables
When beginning any implementation, it is crucial to set the vision by defining where you are going, and how you plan on getting there. In turn, it is important to identify each of the tasks that need to be accomplished to cross the finish line and what does success look like. Once those tasks have been defined, resources or more specifically, those individuals accountable for a specific task must be assigned. Finally, having an agreed upon timeline is important. This shouldn’t be defined by one person, but rather a group of knowledgeable individuals who will be playing an active role in completing the deliverables.
3. A Governance Model Helps Provide Clarity & Transparency
For many, the term “Governance Model” elicits fear that the project will have layers of management and an endless reporting structure. However, if done properly will provide transparency, accountability, and clarity to all key stakeholders. During the project formation stage, it is vital to define key teams, meeting cadence, reporting structure and clear paths for escalations and risk mitigation. Having these conversations early on will set expectations and provide a clear path for issue resolution. Will timelines slip? Yes. Will items need to be escalated? Yes. Having a plan to address these will manage expectations and emotions so you can get to root cause and keep the project moving.
4. Be Prepared to Navigate Emotional Waters
Change can be difficult. Because of this, pushback is inevitable – and with pushback comes emotions. Many times, those who work most intimately with specific processes feel passionately about how they should be performed. Some feel like a change to a process that they oversee could be a direct reflection on their work. This can cause insecurities and a sense of risk. In any implementation, it is important to be prepared to help guide these emotions to productive and meaningful conversation. Having passion is good – in fact, it is necessary to determine the best solution. What is critical, is how that passion is managed.
Implementations are not easy. In fact, they can be incredibly difficult to manage from start-to-finish. Alleon Group believes there is an art and a science to managing implementations. While there are several keys to any implementation, and no four tips will make any implementation flawless, following these guidelines will help set up your organization for success.