By Luke Bernier, Senior Project Manager for Clinical Conductor CTMS
Simple Steps for CTMS Deployment Success
All software deployments are challenging, and that holds true for CTMS deployments. CTMS software is purchased with promises of business efficiencies, cost savings and streamlined operations. The claims the CTMS vendors are making are true; however many don’t materialize once the product is installed. In this short article I will provide some guidance to help you achieve the software’s claims.
Define Solid Goals
First and foremost, CTMS deployments need to start with solid goals. What is the team trying to accomplish must be stated Specifically, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART). The team cannot be indecisive with its goals. They must clearly identify what business changes or enhancements the team is expecting, then measure the potential solutions against these goals. Communication is important because a slight miscommunication on either party’s part can drastically impact the proposed solutions. Never take the vendors word for a potential benefit; build business cases and test the solutions in a sandbox or perform a pilot test to verify the vendor’s systems claims against the goals prior to signing any agreement. This reminds me of Ronald Regan’s old adage regarding the US and Soviet Union relationship “trust but verify”.
Secure Executive Support
Don’t underestimate the need for solid executive support. This is a business process changing deployment and managing change is as important as the right technology. The team needs to ensure the executives are involved with the solution selection and in agreement with deployment strategy. Having executive support when issues arise will also allow the team to better manage obstacles and complete the deployment.
Get User Involvement
Get the users involved early. This deployment will be directly impacting users’ daily business lives, so be sure to listen to their concerns and suggestions. Don’t pay them lip service, user will immediately know if the team promised a feature but does not deliver. Don’t over promise the benefits of the CTMS. It is better to under promise and over deliver. Be sure to set realistic goals and strive to over deliver. Publicize small successes early and often. Notify users and executives of deployment changes immediately, don’t let the rumor mill thrive. Nothing can kill morale faster than the rumor mill.
Use a Phased Deployment Strategy
Use a phased deployment strategy to keep the deployment scope manageable. If the team is making a great deal of complicated business process changes, users can easily become overwhelmed and demoralized. By utilizing a phased deployment strategy, the team can control the level of complexity and manage user adoption.
Don’t Bargain Hunt
Don’t bargain hunt for a CTMS solution. Saving a few dollars now and compromising on your goals will cost you much more in the long run. This deployment, if successful, will define the organization’s business processes for the next 7 to 10 years. Don’t settle for the lowest cost solution; look for a solution that best attains your goals.
Use a Multidiscipline Deployment Team
Create a multifunctional deployment team, and make sure to include an executive sponsor, IT personnel, and business process owners. This is not just an IT project, it is a business project and failure to have the business teams involved will impact user adoption and deployment success.
While these may seem like obvious suggestions, many software deployments overlook the obvious; and as a result, don’t achieve the expected results.