Tip of the Week #25 – The Importance of a Project Plan

U.S. head of sales John Mullins joins us this week with some good counsel on how to lay the foundation for a successful print MIS/ERP implementation project.

Selecting a new software system is usually a long and exhausting process.  No one wakes up and says “today I really feel like changing systems” but they usually reach the moment when they realize how broken things are and have to change.

We as vendors go through this pain with clients over and over and I think that we do a poor job of setting an agenda with the clients, and also managing expectations and the reality of what a new system installation actually takes.

Companies are very happy when they select a new company but all too often that euphoria dissipates very quickly once the “work” begins.

I am in sales…have been my whole life and usually get too eager to close a deal to get too into speaking about the reality of how hard the work will be and what is going to be involved.  This has led to some unhappy clients and some unrealistic expectations on both sides of the installation.

Ahem. Now that I have said bad things about my vocation, how do we fix this?  The answer is simple and can be summed up in two words “project plan”.

Spend the time working on a detailed project plan with your new client.  This needs to be an organic process with a lot of back and forth from vendor to end user.   Once everyone looks at and understands the roles that they will play in the process, it will be much smoother to actually start the work and great for both parties.  This will eliminate scope creep, long and expensive projects, and partial installations—all things that we don’t want to see.

Bottom line, spend some extra time up front with your prospect developing an in-depth plan and your clients will appreciate it and you will be glad you did.

Thanks John!

Kasper Tomshøj (left) and John Mullins (center) demonstrate the stringent, stoic Scandinavian work ethic practiced here at PrintVis (with Dennis André Thomsen).

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