This blog post will be particularly relevant for anyone considering PBCS, though it also applies to all implementations.
Have a session to talk to consultants. Choosing the right ones with experience and having an open session is vital. There are a surprising number of people who won’t talk to you much up front, but will tell you what you did wrong at the end. Insist on an organized discussion. You’ll discover if you’ve hired someone who understands your needs if they are honest with feedback. Alternatively you may have “yes men” or people with strictly technical backgrounds. More on that in my next post.
Try to limit specialization. Minimalize any customization of the software. There will always be things that need to be done, but differentiate them from the wants. Try to be clear on which is which. Listen to the feedback from your consultants. We always try to provide alternatives and options so that our clients know what things will cost. Try to stay close to out of the box if you want a quick and inexpensive implementation. Every experienced firm has pre-written pieces that will help you implement quickly. Find who best understands those pieces and how to apply them to your needs.
Don’t expect it to be perfect the first time, but do show it to as many people as possible. You can have a good and functional implementation, but too often the perfect is the enemy of the good. Since no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy, expect to make changes after people use it. Use a waterfall approach. Get what will be successful to your company in the hands of the users, but manage expectations. Let them know that you will take their feedback and make changes as necessary. Find a consultant that will stick with you for consistency of vision over time.
Finally, Implementations run over when you hire resources that can’t help. Not that they don’t want to, but they can’t. These fall into two main categories; Ones that are learning on the job or resources that are only technical. Both are costing your money and time.