Note: This blog originally appeared on Dassault Systèmes North America blog, Navigate the Future on July 12, 2019.
Adding new or upgraded technology to a business’ operations can get complicated, even when it promises streamlined processes and efficiency. We know from experience that certain steps project teams take before the implementation will improve the chances for a smoother implementation. Here we describe 9 best practices to kick off a successful 3DEXPERIENCE implementation, gleaned from our many years of effective engagements.
Recent blog posts dive into the nitty gritty details of implementation best practices, from setting expectations, mapping project requirements to functionality, and how to conduct a well-planned project for migrating data to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Before getting into those details, we suggest these 9 best practices to kick off a successful implementation.
Gain Executive Support and Buy-in
We know because we’ve seen it countless times – when upper management supports the implementation and stands as its champion, the new technology adaption runs smoother with less resistance. End user resistance to change is common and is to be expected but when executives can point out the concrete benefits – time saved, resources saved, repetitive manual tasks automated, reductions in errors and time to fix them, staff re-assigned to higher value-add tasks – that resistance falls away.
Similarly, when upper management removes barriers, clears schedules, assigns additional resources or covers implementation project team daily tasks, the project team members can devote their time and energy needed for a successful 3DEXPERIENCE implementation.
Assess New Roles
With new technology comes a change in roles, with additions and subtractions, related to both software and hardware. It’s critical to assess the software roles to be implemented and review the hardware roles to make sure all roles are a good fit.
Assign a Solid Core Team
Nothing is more important that the core team tasked with the introduction and implementation of the new technology. The team must have decision-making power and be backed up by champions, to implement and configure the PLM platform. Often the champions go by such titles as Senior Systems Engineer, Analyst or Administrator, reporting to the Director of IT or Engineering. These champions of the project become its administrators. The core team also needs representatives of all of the stakeholders affected by the implementation.
Plan for Regular Communication
The most successful core teams schedule regular status update meetings and communicate with all stakeholders. We can’t overstate the importance of regular and complete communication with all parties. The implementation comes with its own learning curve. Because staff are learning the software in place, there may be disconnects until everyone is up to speed on the new processes. Training activities and good communication must be built into the plan.
Be Open to Process Changes
The pitfall to avoid here is to simply drop in new or upgraded technology and then trying to make it fit existing processes rather than mapping and updating processes to fit the technology. Successful teams find a balance that maps and modifies processes to how the software works.
Set Realistic Implementation Steps
For a successful implementation, it’s essential to set realistic steps and goals with a phased implementation process. Rather than reaching for the moon in one step, break down the implementation process into manageable steps, with phased goals and quick wins.
Create a Workable Data Migration Process and Timetable
Data migration is an involved process. With proper planning and testing, migrating data to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from any legacy system can go smoothly. It requires the proper tools and methodologies that meet the unique needs of manufacturers without busting the budget. It also requires time and planning to set the right expectations.
Expect Plan Changes
Even the best plans get modified over time – it’s natural and commonplace with software implementations. An agile approach with sprints of functionality added, followed by a review that allows for changes and reconfigurations is a successful approach.
Be Flexible at Go-Live
The Go-Live event is an exciting one, fraught with anticipation. Our recommendation here is to conduct proper testing ahead of time but be aware that Go-Live can be an iterative process – issues appear, the team fixes them, try again – it’s a marathon, not a sprint, as they say, and the devil is in the details.
Above all, we recommend working with implementation partners and experts in data migration to achieve a successful implementation. For help with your 3DEXPERIENCE implementation, contact xLM Solutions.