The 7 secrets to successful CAFM implementation
Many change projects or initiatives to improve performance do not reach their initial goals because of poor implementation.
This is true for implementing facility management software as well. When outcomes are disappointing, this is likely because value ‘leaks’ at different stages of the implementation process.
To get the most value out of Computer Aided Facility Management (CAFM), it is, therefore, advisable to look into vendors’ implementation capabilities. So, what are the critical success factors?
1. Focus on value
Any CAFM implementation project should start with a needs’ analysis and define strategic goals to ensure that all project decisions bring real value to the organization. The absence of a clear value framework may lead to strategic misalignment, silo mentality, and disconnected decision making. Too often, CAFM implementation ends up just as an asset register with a helpdesk.
In this context, a project-to-value mapping is a useful resource to link all project decisions to organizational objectives and KPIs. Moreover, it ensures that all goals are well defined, understood and communicated and improves project focus. It’s also the basis for a performance dashboard that allows you to track project KPIs and quickly take corrective action if needed.
Expect your CAFM implementation partner to bring value KPI lists and guide you through the process.
2. Scope control
Managing project scope is one of the big challenges of transformation projects. The “as-is” situation in combination with the wishes and expectations of various stakeholders can result in a tsunami of requirements, without leveraging the new capabilities offered by modern CAFM suites.
Start by reviewing existing systems, data sources and processes; but also look into other areas that could benefit from automation. Determine which capabilities and workflows can be improved, and streamline processes based on industry best practices.
Work in a phased manner to avoid a long time to first value.
Check if a vendor has in-depth FM knowledge; and – if they do – whether best practices have been effectively incorporated into the software.
3. Software configuration, not customization
Companies are moving away from heavily customized vendor-dependent delivery models to a flexible self-service model. Therefore, it is important to find a standard software that has embedded best practices and is configurable by the end-user. If users feel the software is too rigid and does not fit their way of working, they will ignore it and continue using outdated processes and tools.
Configurable templates and process flows are therefore key for successful CAFM implementation. Assess your requirements, as configuration capabilities differ from one vendor to another.
To get the most value from facility management software, it is important to achieve integration between areas ranging from FM to real estate, energy, space, and maintenance. You may want to implement CAFM software in phases, starting with key focus areas and expanding the solution when your organization is ready for it. A modular, well-integrated platform, with mobile apps plugging into it, will enable you to meet current and future needs.
Equally important is integration with external systems, such as team collaboration tools, financial and ERP software, BIM/GIS, Building Management Systems (BMS) or sensor networks (IoT). Such integration will enable data to flow through different platforms and touchpoints and make the experience seamless for all users. It will also allow you to benefit from reliable, end-to-end performance reporting.
When comparing offerings, check if vendors provide powerful integration capabilities, such as standard web services and an integration cloud (iPaaS).
5. Data governance
When implementing a new CAFM software, large data volumes need to be imported, including building portfolios, technical assets, a service catalogue, etc. The platform should provide a user-friendly data migration tool to import a wide range of data quickly and in a structured way.
It doesn’t stop with data import/export, however. Common data management challenges include inconsistent data definitions, unclear data ownership, and unwanted impact of changes on related processes or quality of reporting.
Poor data quality compromises performance and results tracking. Ask your software vendor if they can play a data stewardship role.
6. User adoption & change management
CAFM implementation is a change process, so expect resistance. No matter how wonderful your new solution is, it will not deliver the expected value if you can’t get people to accept it and use it correctly.
So take into account company culture and communicate to everybody why you are doing the project, before deploying it to the users. Pay special attention to key users who will be the ambassadors of the new system and the first line of support. Show all stakeholders how they will benefit from the new software.
A smart approach with pre-configured templates, ready-to-use reporting, and user-friendly eLearning will help users get up to speed quickly. In this way, it will reduce the depth and length of the “valley of despair”.
7. Ongoing training and support
Make sure you thoroughly train users on the software. Do this before the go-live date to avoid rejection and suboptimal use of the software. And after go-live, keep providing flexible learning opportunities on an ongoing basis.
Interactive eLearning is a great tool to increase user adoption, enable users to achieve a high level of proficiency and prevent knowledge loss.
Put in place a hypercare team for end-user support after go-live. Clearly communicate their support role and availability to users in this crucial period. Organize feedback sessions and make it easy for users to voice concerns and questions.
In conclusion, if you are mindful of the above implementation aspects and choose your vendor carefully, your investment in CAFM software will pay off more quickly, for the benefit of the organization and the workers.
If you would like to learn more, do not hesitate to contact us.