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MISsion Critical – implementing a new MIS
For many businesses a good MIS is mission critical, and ProCo is no exception. But getting your hands on the right system isn’t easy; you have to make sure that what you’re putting in is right for you, right for your customers, and it goes without saying, dependability is key. So the spec’ing and selection process are every bit as important as the acquisition and implementation.
So, you’ve gone through an intense period of spec’ing (agile story telling is our preferred method btw) with the various stakeholder groups. You’ve watched demo’s, sat in meetings, talked to colleagues, listened to concerns, weighed up the pro’s and con’s and gone for it. After all that, the rest should be a walk in the park…right?
Then it arrives, the ‘big bang’. You’re turning off the old system…the one you’ve worked with for years, the one you’re comfortable with, the one you know where you are with……and so does everyone else……but you’ve come this far, you’ve committed the time, the money, the people, the new system looks great, its quicker, faster, better, what could possibly go wrong?…
So you flick the switch………….and everything’s ok…….for about 20 minutes.
“Eeeerm, I’ve just put this into our new system (completely run of the mill enquiry) …and its saying we can’t print it”
“I’ve just put this into our new system, and its saying we can’t invoice it”
“And I’ve just put this into our new system…and its eaten it all up !!!!’…. said baby bear
Where did it all go wrong?? Why did we turn the old one off? It never hurt anyone…it was alright really…. it’s quicker just to use the old one for now, oh, I know, we’ll just write it all down on a bit of paper, yeah, let’s go back to manual, we never had any problems like this, what’s going on, who signed this off??????????? Aaaaaand relax…. day two:
“Oooh, look, if I click this (click, click, clickety, click) look, it does THAT! That’s fantastic, we never had that before, this is brilliant…who signed this off !!…”
At ProCo, we made sure we picked the right system, created user guides and trained all our people before going live…we even ran the old system and the new one in tandem for a while to make sure nothing was out of kilter, and to provide a backup should we need one, I mean, you’ve got to be sensible about these things! But, implementing an MIS isn’t about a system, provided you’ve done your homework, the system will be fine. Implementing an MIS is all about people, it has to work for us all; customers, users, partners, a good MIS is for everyone’s benefit, and while it may never be the heart of the business (that’s the people) it’s definitely the brains!
Matthew Johnson, Operations Director, 16th September 2016