The power of preparation

Last updated on November 25, 2013

When implementing a new Information Technology system, companies often neglect the preparation step and the story always ends with failures. Indeed, the lack of preparation is the first mistake to avoid. Preparation is the basis of the entire implementation process. Your results will depend on how you prepare this new IT system implementation. Most mistakes occurring during the implementation and after are, first of all, due to the lack of preparation. If you prepare your process enough, many mistakes will be avoided. First of all, when they decide to carry out a new IT system, companies often neglect the collateral changes. A new IT system involves changes of organization and management in the company. These changes are often hold as secondary during the implementation phase. Most companies realize it far too late to be able to repair the mistake. That is the reason why preparation is crucial. It is the step that will include anticipation of future changes. Indeed, many changes have to be anticipated, like how warehouse management will change, as well as logistics management, for example. New procedures should be thought in order to improve IT system management in the company. Here are some changes that need to be examined and prepared: local requirements, human capital practices, employee alignment, communication changes, etc. Besides, the lack of preparation is also the cause of the improper budgeting process. In effect, companies usually underestimate the cost and time of the implementation of a new IT system in their organization. For this reason, the expected results are not achieved. ROI calculation is also often wrong and the results do not compensate the cost of implementation. All this leads them to budget overruns. This is the reason why preparation is essential. Indeed, thanks to preparation, companies can expect several possible scenarios and imagine different solutions to apply if one of these actually occurs during or after the implementation process. Consequently, preparation will help avoid many mistakes and forecast solutions for unavoidable issues. The cornerstone of preparation is, obviously, information. Then, what is most important is first to collect enough data to be able to make an analysis before implementing any new system. Data collection takes time but it is crucial to be able to achieve the expected results. Therefore, companies should take any necessary measures to collect the maximum data, which will enable them to make the essential analysis. Indeed, they must analyze the possibilities, according to the requirements, then rate number of suppliers available, as well as their proposals. Preparation is also important in the provider choice of course because they need to focus on long-term and sustainable relationships. Preparation is essential for all the areas that can be concerned and affected by the implementation of a new IT system. These areas can be about labor, law, prices, functioning, providers, contracts, skills, investment priorities, competitors, etc. Vivek Sood insists on this point in his book The 5-STAR Business Network (, and this topic will be even more analyses in his next book Outsource, Outsmart, Outprofit. Thus, preparation is the first step and although you may think it is not part of the project itself, it actually is. Besides, it will determine the entire following and the results of the project. Then, you must not neglect this point and make sure that everything was thought deeply before implementing a new IT system in your organization. by Anais Lelong

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