Don’t let the coronavirus stand in the way of your project. Switch to remote
You have recently decided to start using a new software system. The implementation is closing in and you are ready to get started with the new solution. But then: the coronavirus created lockdowns all over the world. Physical contact has been limited in a short period of time, working from home is strictly advised and working remotely has become our new reality. Although working from home may sound frightening to some people, almost everyone is dealing with this situation as we speak. Including the people that may not be as trigger happy when it comes to computers, cloud services or working remotely. Therefore, a preserved attitude towards the unknown work forms isn’t unusual. How can you, nevertheless, successfully deal with these changes? How can you smoothly go through your implementation process? And how does the current project approach look like? In this blog, project manager Johan shares a few tips to help you switch to remote while the implementation steps are basically left unchanged. Switch easily with PL Solutions Because of the world wide corona outbreak, many people are working from home. According to many newspaper headlines, this has been a difficult transaction for most people. Luckily, there are a lot of tips and tricks to be found online that help you plan your workday efficiently, also from home. But how do you do that when it implies something new like a new software application? We give a number of tips that help you to go live, even from your own living room. Start working with online tools PL solutions already has experience with working remotely. A great number of messages are sent daily via Microsoft Teams or WhatsApp. This is one of the reasons why the use of Teams was a logical step to keep communicating with our customers. Furthermore, you can use the same tool to keep communicating with your colleagues as well. In the past 10 to 20 years, we have started traveling more for our work. Now, we suddenly see that working remotely can be a good thing. The momentum of the corona crisis allows us to re-orientate on travel distances and time loss due to traffic. All together, we can spare a lot of time working remotely while still work effective.
Make use of the knowledge and time of your consultant
Unexpected setbacks like the limitations imposed by the government measures against the corona virus may have quite an impact on your business or new software implementation. You would want to closely experience the implementation, but due to the current situation this has been changed to remote consultancy and training. However, the availability of expertise prevails over the physical presence of a consultant. Therefore, make use of the knowledge, expertise and time of your consultant. Use for example Microsoft Teams, to easily share your screen or to give your consultant control over your screen during a workshop, configuration or training. In this way, you can still experience the implementation up close.
When focusing on the possibilities of remote consultancy, you will find that the you and your consultant have more effective time together. Both parties are not obstructed by travel time for example. Besides, you can fall back on the expertise of the consultant more often. The meeting with the consultant, or parts of it, can be recorded. Therefore, the information can be made available for a later stage and you can easily share the knowledge with your own group of key users.
Physical movements take time and energy. Preventing this can quickly be experienced as beneficial. Furthermore, research shows that working remotely increases the efficiency and meetings are more structured. So, you are also gaining time with this.
Get to know your project manager
Thirdly, it is important to get to know the consultant and your project manager. By doing so, you know what you can expect when working together, you learn the way people prefer to work most and you will get to the best results together.
When you switch the training and consulting to remote when the implementation has already started, you have already met the involved consultants. This applies to projects that have started before the 10th march.
Switching the project to a remote work environment may feel like a major change, but it is proven to be possible and successful. Trans-Imex was the first customer that made the switch together with us. And successfully, because now, Trans-Imex is the first that has been gone live completely remotely.
When starting a new implementation, you won’t have any physical moments of contact. Meeting all involved parties and stakeholders will happen remotely. A video meeting, involving a small group of participants, offers a good opportunity to get to know each other and start working together. The key to success: listen well and follow the facial expressions of your partners. And don’t forget the most important ingredient for success and work joy: humor. Make time for informal moments and make a joke every now and then.
Project approach while working remotely
Although all communications have moved to online meetings and connecting remotely, the project approach remains the same. Based on our fixed time promise and five key moments in the project, the implementation is completed in 12 weeks: from kick-off to Go-Live. Phase 1 – Preparation During the first phase, the most important goal for you and our project manager is to get to know each other and inform each other. You and the project manager meet for the first time. With a video conference and a shared presentation, you establish who is who and what the roles are of the different employees in the project. Agreements on approach, participation, roles and planning are discussed and lead to a successful kick-off. Phase 2 – Analyze In the first workshop, involvement and commitment are central elements to your key user(s) and the PL Solutions team. Key is to meet up. Even though the times may be unusual, this is still possible when connecting with Teams. During this phase, business processes are analyzed, together with the possibilities and limitations of these processes. The consultant, with the help of the key users, works this out until the review in our process demo: Simulation 1. During the demo, questions are noted in a group chat and discussed afterwards. The actions are captured in SharePoint. The sessions can be recorded to access them in the future. Phase 3 – Implementation In this phase, you are instructed and trained. As in the on-site situation, you will start ‘hands-on’ with the solution and the key user learns skills to work and administrate the application. The earlier mentioned possibilities to share your screen, give control to the consultant, record sessions or capture actions will be set to full use. The key users convincingly present their processes (remote) in the final demo: Simulation 2. Phase 4 – Prepare Go-Live A successful Simulation 2 is the start of phase 4. The key user group is well aware of the processes and the possibilities in the new application. They run some last checks to see if every process-flow works as it should and if the solution is ready to go live. If there are any difficulties, the consultant helps out remotely. Phase 5 – Go Live The Go-Live; the first operational day on 3PL Dynamics software. Users and key users handle the remaining issues and the consultant is online involved in the process. The consultant can assist directly when needed. Together, we make sure of a successful Go-Live. Is having cold feet necessary? Suddenly, we all were torn out of our usual modus and detoured to the current work processes. Nevertheless, we can proudly declare that PL Solutions can fulfil the entire implementation remotely and has proven to be able to so. The concept of working remotely may even be an effective element in the communication with customers in the future. You are welcome to join! Suddenly, we all were torn out of our usual modus and detoured to the current work processes. We always say that we should embrace insecurity and that is exactly what we have done. In no time we adjusted ourselves to remote implementation and have proven it to be more than possible. Another win is that, after the coronacrisis, we can use everything we have learned to work and communicate even more effective with you as a customer. You are welcome! Would you like to know more about the remote implementation of your solution? Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org This article was written by Johan Das, from our partner, Boltrics