The Demo Afterglow: Tips on How to Keep That Good Feeling Going

by | Sep 16, 2021

Remember the excited, optimistic feeling you had after you saw your workforce management solution demo? You could see exactly how the solution would transform your business and empower your employees. I’m sorry to tell you that for most WFM leaders, that afterglow feeling fades well before the solution is even implemented. So where do projects go wrong? This blog post covers three recommendations for how you can transform that initial period of excitement into a WFM implementation that delivers real results for your organization.

1. Keep Your WFM Implementation Requirements Clear and Focused

You should ask yourself some important questions at the start of your project. Before you talk to vendors, has your team agreed on your requirements? Have you documented those requirements? Did you update those requirements after seeing vendor demonstrations?

Remember the awesome functionality you saw during the demo? Make a list of the parts that captured your attention or elements of the sales discussions and demonstrations you’ve had that could be relevant. Don’t assume just because something was discussed or demonstrated it will be automatically configured or passed along to the solution implementation team on your behalf.

Make sure that you and your colleagues are agreed on the project requirements. Sometimes that awesome feature may not add the value to your business that you initially thought. And review your requirements list at each stage of the project. Do not leave this to the end of the implementation—it will be too late to do fix any accidental omissions.

2. Give Yourself the Right WFM Implementation Plan and Resources

Partnership is vital to keeping that afterglow feeling. Work with your vendor (or implementation partner) to develop a genuine and achievable project plan and timeline. While it may be possible to deploy in a short period of time, is that the type of project you’re looking to complete? Will you have enough time to implement and thoroughly test your requirements?

Talk to your vendor or implementation partner about the required skill sets for each task, and their recommended time frames. Then take that plan away and review it through your business lens—what other initiatives are happening at the same time? Do you have to take any resource limitations into account? Have you added contingency for the unexpected and planned for the inevitable project fatigue?

Asking the right questions can help ensure your project plan is achievable and genuine, and that you’ve assigned the right people with the right skills.

3. Don’t Forget Stakeholder Engagement – You Reap What You Sow!

Many a project has failed from not having robust and engaging change management and training. I simply can’t overstate its importance. Keep a full list of your stakeholders updated, develop your change management and training plans, and keep your engagement and communications timely, relevant, and frequent.

If stakeholders will be actively participating in activities such as testing or training, make sure to let them know early so they’re aware of what’s coming. Don’t be afraid to seek input and feedback from stakeholders throughout the design and testing process. Your end users can be a wealth of knowledge.

And remember, you need to be clear about the benefits of your new WFM solution when communicating to your end users about it. They need to know what’s in it for them. No matter how great your implemented solution is, you will not return your expected and potential benefits if your end user engagement and communication isn’t up to the task. And there’s no surer way to lose that afterglow feeling.

Getting Your WFM Implementation Right

The most important way to hold on to that afterglow is to know and plan for your limitations. Do you have the right skill sets on your team? Do you have the capacity to work on a WFM implementation project on top of your day-to-day business? Have you worked on a project like this before? If you aren’t sure about your answer to any of these questions, you might benefit from assistance.

Flag your limitations early and honestly, and consider if expert outside help might be the best approach. You’re investing a significant amount in your business and team’s future. A trusted WFM expert, like Axsium’s experts, can help you feel as good at the end of your project as you did at the start.

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