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Succeed in the change management of a CMMS project

Succeed in the change management of a CMMS project

Monday 01 february 2021

Most managers are familiar with change management and know that the success of a business project depends on how well it is anticipated and properly conducted. In this article, we are going to present you, in the form of a checklist of questions to ask yourself, how to organize change to make your project of implementing a new CMMS, or Computerized Maintenance Management System, a complete success.

> 8 actions for a successful implementation of CMMS 

The human element is crucial to the successful deployment of a CMMS in your company, and from the very beginning of the project, whether it is to replace an aging CMMS, or to implement it for the first time, you will need to conduct a detailed analysis of the level of acceptance of the future users and stakeholders involved in the project. To do this, you will need to draw up a list of risk factors and success factors.

CHECKLIST BEFORE LAUNCHING THE CMMS

In order to help you do this work, we detail in this article the checklist to prepare:

✔️ Is there a common vision of the long-term project guideline and how the selected CMMS fits into this approach, is it clear to all stakeholders?

✔️ Are there or will there be strong signs of support from management before, during and long after the installation of the solution? 

✔️ What about approval and support from middle management?

✔️ Do those responsible for implementing the change understand and accept the change in question?

✔️ Are there any senior managers who have been removed from their usual functions to be made available to the project so that they can concentrate on monitoring its progress and success?

✔️ Have sufficient resources been allocated to CMMS implementation: this includes human resources, equipment, facilities and external services? Have the missions entrusted to the integrator (who may be the publisher of the solution) been clearly defined?

✔️ Has sufficient time been allocated for a successful implementation? As a general rule, it takes between 6 and 18 months to fully deploy CMMS software.

✔️ Has a budget been specifically allocated for change management and is it sufficient?

✔️ Have performance indicators been provided to determine whether the CMMS implementation is successful? 

✔️ Is there a regularly updated communication plan, transmitted to all stakeholders and including a feedback mechanism (feedback from early adopters within the company) to the project management unit?

✔️ What level of training is planned for each group concerned, technicians, managers, administrative staff, with regard to the nature and benefits of the planned changes? 

✔️ Is resistance to the changes caused by CMMS implementation anticipated? Is there a plan to manage this resistance?

✔️ Are there bonuses, incentives for early adopters of change?

✔️ Are customers affected by the planned changes? Is there a need to inform them? Is there a risk that the project will impact their satisfaction and is there a plan to mitigate this risk if it exists?

If you have a clear answer to all of the above questions, you are well on your way to a successful implementation of your new CMMS solution.

THE CMMS PROJECT PLAN

Many CMMS implementations are still based on a pace and schedule dictated by technology, which leads to change issues long after the application is launched. Modules and interfaces with other software are installed one by one, developments and parameter settings are transmitted as they happen, servers are upgraded after slower speeds are noticed, etc.

This type of technological implementation can be very disruptive and generate strong resistance from all stakeholders. 

This type of scenario should be avoided in favor of a user-centered approach. Indeed, the most effective strategy is to establish a planning based on preparing for change, prioritizing the protection of users and customers against any negative impact. The project plan must therefore take into account all the measures necessary to protect against the impact on customers, and contingency plans must be developed to deal with any service interruption.

The success of the project also depends on the careful preparation of a communication plan, a training plan and a plan anticipating any changes in the work environment, such as the new design of the software for use from a PC or the interface of the new mobile application for field technicians. Each plan must be published in advance so that employees can be prepared. A very large number of departments, including maintenance, operations, engineering, finance, purchasing, human resources and information systems will be affected by the changes and must be integrated as early as possible in the process of reflection, choice and migration.

Other stakeholders such as suppliers or strategic partners must also not be forgotten and must be taken into account and informed in advance.

CHANGING OF CMMS: THE ACTORS

To successfully manage change and get the most out of your CMMS, it is important to know how to identify the different players in your project. It is thus possible to distinguish several typical profiles: the sponsor, the champion, the change agent, the influencer and the target. Let's find out more about this ...

The Sponsor

The person or group that legitimizes the change is called the sponsor. He or she is the bearer of the vision and has the motivation and power to make change a reality.

The Champion

The champion is an agent of the sponsor who will effectively lead change at all levels. In small businesses, the champion and the sponsor may be the same person. Choose a champion who has experience in the organization and who is credible to management and employees in the operations and maintenance departments. It is preferable that the champion be a line manager of operations to ensure maximum buy-in.

The Change Agent

A person or group that implements change is called a change agent. These are the resources used by the champion as a member of the project team.

The Influencer

People who want change but who do not have the power to sponsor and are not direct targets are called influencers. An influencer can be anyone who measures the value of the change; for example, champions from other divisions who have experienced a similar change with the same application solution and know the value of the change.

The Target 

The group that is being changed is called the target. For a successful CMMS implementation in the long term, the target group should not be limited to the members of the maintenance department, and should be extended to all the actors concerned by the new system from the management to the administrative managers of the support functions.

CONCLUSION

If you respect this project approach you can be assured of a successful implementation of the CMMS solution with short, medium and long term benefits on the competitiveness of your company. Well done! 

An essential element that must also be taken into account is that CMMS based on the latest generation technologies such as cloud computing, mobile networks, a user-friendly user experience, and which also know how to offer much easier start-ups than before to their customers allow much faster and simpler start-ups to their customers. These CMMS now include setup, user training and data transfer processes that speed up projects and facilitate change management by encouraging almost immediate appropriation of the solution by all those involved.

 

By the way, our ambition is to offer an unparalleled user experience. Check it out now: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, by the time you create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon!

 

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