This week we are proud to bring you Part 6 of our 10-part series on successfully implementing an IWMS. In this article we will discuss the importance of pacing yourself in an IWMS implementation. Read the previous article on Understanding Your Business Process if you haven’t already.
There are many applications in a complete IWMS system. These applications can include Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), and Real Property & Lease Management (RPLM). Many companies desire to implement all the applications at once, to take advantage of all the possible features from the very beginning. We highly doing it all at once. Instead of rushing in, take some time and implement your system properly.
“Bigger is better” promotes the idea that the value of an item increases with size, scope, or price. This may be true when talking about diamonds, but not so much when implementing an Integrated Work Management System (IWMS). In fact, in many ways, the best idioms to follow with an IWMS implementation are “good things come in small packages” and “take things one step at a time.”
Too many applications at once is an organizational nightmare for those implementing the system. It requires a lot of energy from all parties and can cause much frustration between departments (IT, FM, CRE, etc.) who may not be used to working together. Instead of implementing Space Management, Strategic Master Planning, Lease Management, Portfolio Management, Asset Tracking, Building Ops, Preventative Maintenance, and Green Building (phew!) all at once, pick the most important application to implement and focus solely on that. Once the most important application has been implemented successfully, move on to the next one.
Allow each application implementation to be its own success. Pick
Space, Lease, Preventative Maintenance, or Asset Tracking first. Allow
it to succeed. Once it has succeeded, build on top of that. Move from
one item to the next, ensuring that the application on which you’re
building has a firm foundation.
Implementing too many applications simultaneously can
overload the system users. If an individual disagrees with part of
your IWMS implementation, it is easier to address the issues that arise
piecemeal rather than all at once. Generate success stories with one
application. Gather advocates as each new application is installed. As
users see the benefits of the system and feel that their input is
valued they will use the system and encourage others to do so as well.
Taking time allows the development of robust standards (see part 4: Standards). Move strategically and methodically. Put a lot of thought into how you’re naming your buildings, leases, assets, etc. Additionally, taking your time allows you to verify data and business
processes (see part 5: Understanding Your Business Process) as they are developed, thus increasing the trustworthiness of the
Trying to do everything all at once (taking on the bigger is better mentality) in a shortened time frame can be counter intuitive. It’s not impossible, it just needs to be done carefully with all parties taken into account.
Our recommendation is to take baby steps. You will find your IWMS implementation highly successful as you take each application you want to
implement one step at a time. When you take the time to set your system
up properly, individuals using the system will like
it, understand it, and use it frequently.
To be successful you don’t necessarily have to go slowly, you just need to set a reasonable time frame for your company. Be sure to allow whatever time you may need to ensure realistic success. It’s not about getting the biggest system up or getting your system up the fastest, it’s about thoughtfully working through each scenario and implementing the applications properly. Ultimately, you will more often than not get the full system up and running more robustly than those who dive blindly into the chaos of a “bigger is better” implementation.