In my opinion, configuration is the utmost important part of the on-boarding process of any software solution. It's by far my favorite subject and my team is passionate about providing our clients with best-in-class expertise and tools to guide them through the process of defining how they want the system to work for them.
With time, many years of combined experience, knowledge acquired through our clients' business needs, and a few lessons learned, we changed how we roll out the SOLABS QM10 solution for our clients.
In the past, we aimed to configure SOLABS QM10 to meet the needs of the soon to be system experts: i.e. system admins and system owners. But we were wrong. These soon to be experts would spend so much time navigating the software that they naturally learn everything they need. When we realized that, our mission became to configure the system so that someone who goes in once or twice a year, like the CEO for example, or people that will just go in to complete training, just need to click once or twice to have the right information on their screen. We want to make sure they're able to navigate through it very easily. We want them to say wow, that was simple! Our top priority is that your end-users fully adopt the system, enjoy it, find it easy to use. We want to avoid those headaches for our system admins and owners. This should also be your top priority; we all have enough headaches as it is.
From a business perspective, we also want to avoid clients not rolling out the system to a large community of users or even changing systems because their end-users aren’t happy with our system. The survival and growth of our business model is directly impacted by customer success, which means that if our users aren’t happy with our system, our business will not be successful.
Concretely, we plan for training and configuration activities to begin very early in the project and continue for the duration of the project until we go live, together, with our clients. People have a common misconception about configuration. They think configuration should be done over days of locking down super-users and SMI’s in a conference room brainstorming and debating over how they should configure a system. That is absolutely the worst thing you could ever do. Configuration is best done over short interactive sessions that will happen over weeks or months, depending on the scope of a project. The best ideas and decisions will actually happen in between those sessions. Configuration will happen when you spend time without focusing on it too much, this is when your brain will work its magic and give you the answers you are looking for. That and a little bit or our help!
Once the initial configurations are agreed upon and you go live, we'll continue to guide you and help you make sure that your people are happy with the system. And this doesn’t mean we won’t decide, together, to revisit configurations over time. They will most probably have to evolve because nothing is static. Businesses, markets, industries, economies, those all evolve, for better or worst, there’s only one certainty, it will change. And, trust me, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with questioning a system and deciding to reconfigure it, it would be a mistake not too do that before deciding it no longer fits your business needs. But that’s a whole other topic, the cost of implementing a new system… ill touch on that in another article.
With that being said, we have seen our user base and system adoption grow immensely since we changed the way we see and handle configuration, even with clients that have been with us for many years.