System Selection

How to select a system

Selecting the wrong system can be very costly, not only in the monetary sense but in the time and disruption it can cause the organization. The failure of some systems can even impact critical business functions and hurt productivity.

With a decision this important, it is imperative to get it right the first time.

top tips on getting it right

Without top management support, you will probably struggle. Their involvement should be in communicating the reason for the change to the organization, their support for those tapped to help on the journey, and assisting with strategic decision.

Leverage executive support and build on it throughout the organization. Change is always hard and if the recipients resist you may have delays, shoddy requirements, and lack of sponsorship. Learn more about our change management services

Pick the team that you cannot do without and then backfill them in their current rolls during the implementation. Even if it is a painful for the day-to-day operation, it will result in two key things:

  • Show the organization this is important
  • Ensure you have the best and brightest on the team to capture the necessary requirements for a successful implementation

This is a great time to rethink how you are doing things today. Don’t define your requirements around your current processes but around what you need for the business to run.

It is often overlooked and will cause major issues after implementation. As a result, users may create their own spreadsheets on the side and implement workarounds outside of the system.

They are costly, and upgrades are difficult and expensive. If you need customizations, consider another solution. Businesses that require a unique solution need to consider if their processes can be mainstreamed or the case for customization is well proved to ensure it is worth it.

You want to avoid difficult communication between systems or worst-case manual processes. The technical platform may in some cases be as important as the system itself. Don’t forget mobile users. Many users need to access the system away from their desks. Make sure they are productive throughout the day. Consider data security.

It is easy to be wowed when a vendor shows what their system does best. Control the demo by defining clear scenarios that you can ask the vendor to demonstrate. It is especially important for unique requirements and must haves. Future users should always be involved.  

Try to get unsolicited references. System providers should also be able to provide at least three references. Ask them what went well, what did not go well, and what they would do differently if they could go through the process again.

SolomonEdwards has developed a framework to effectively select a system. Combine our proven frameworks for Project/Program Management, Change Management, Communication and Training with the System Selection Framework for a holistic approach and a successful implementation. There is easy linkage between all of them.

System selection success story

Our team helped to develop system and business requirements aligned with a client’s IT strategy and business needs by reducing their number of systems from 17 to 10.