I truly believe in the power of technology and its ability to enable your business’ strategy. Over the years I have learned a few lessons while deploying technology in my own businesses and those of my clients and I would like to share some of these with you:
Do your homework I find it very odd that most people will compare products with competing products when they buy a TV or car for example, but when buying technology, they pick the solution their buddy uses in his/her business. Or even the solution that the accountant or auditor recommends. Please do your own comparison as your business might differ radically from your friend’s or you probably need much more than debits and credits.
Don’t write a blank cheque I also see that organisations appoint a solution implementor, because of the favourable price that they quoted and then just hope for the best. When you build a new house, you first pay an architect to design the house, then you get a Quantity Surveyor (QS) to cost the design, then you appoint a project manager to manage the subcontractors and each of them gets paid only when they have completed a specific piece of work. So why do you do it differently when you implement software? You might not need to contract as many parties as when you build a house, but at least contract them on a phase by phase basis and preferably on a fixed price per phase basis. I recommend that you at lease split your project into two phases, namely a design (BluePrint) phase and then the implementation phase where you contact them to implement the agreed BluePrint only.
It never hurts to bring someone in for the project, who’s got experience in the field. It will give you piece of mind and reduce the chances a failed project. But please make sure to do your research as well.