When Collaboration Goes Too Far
Software project failure, stunted business growth, poor user adoption—throughout our blog, we often credit these problems to a lack of collaboration. Without proper communication, software projects tend to go astray. Miscommunication or a lack of transparency leads to scope creep, deficient training and other issues that compromise the value of your ERP, CRM or eCommerce implementation.
However, these problems can also come about when collaboration goes too far the other direction, a phenomenon known as groupthink. When your employees and business leaders communicate so frequently that you all begin to think alike, you know your company has fallen victim to groupthink. Individuals have somehow, unknowingly, adopted the same opinions. Without unique perspectives and a little dissension, businesses won’t detect problems or come up with innovative ideas, causing software projects to fall far short of expectations or completely fail.
How do you take a collaborative approach to your enterprise software implementation without devolving into groupthink? We have communication tips and tricks that will keep your software project moving forward.
Assign Specific Roles
If your project team lacks distinct, clearly-defined roles for each member, there’s a good chance that the information provided in meetings will offer little relevance or insight into the project. On the other hand, when members are assigned specific roles and understand their duties, your meeting will benefit from diverse, detailed information that offers crucial knowledge into various aspects of your software plan.
In an earlier post, we outlined the nine project team roles that are essential for success. An example of one role is that of the engagement manager, the organizer of the project who performs initial business process review and drives project timelines. A business analyst (BA) will provide meeting notes and deliverables and ensure members adhere to the communication plan. You can see based on the differences between these two roles that each member manages certain tasks to ensure the team as a whole is moving forward. Without this division into separate roles, your team is at risk of lacking a clear direction.
Put the Business First
When we talk about putting the business first, we are usually referring to the software selection process. A business-first approach is the right approach when it comes to choosing a vendor, because software should adhere to specific business processes. In the context of ensuring effective collaboration, putting the business first is still crucial. Team members should never lose sight of their mission to contribute to the project team in order to implement software that benefits the entire enterprise.
If members don’t understand how their individual roles contribute to the goal’s completion, they likely won’t offer relevant knowledge and might just go along with whatever the project leader has to say. Furthermore, if individuals are afraid to disagree with other team members, they might hold back critical information. When project leaders explain how each person is supposed to add value to the team and consistently reinforce their shared mission to put in place a useful enterprise software instance, members will feel more comfortable sharing their insight.
Find the Right Consultants
The best approach to mitigating groupthink is to seek out third-party experts. If you choose a consulting firm with plenty of experience in both the software you are considering and your business sector, you will gain a useful outside perspective. Consultants might find inefficiencies in your processes or requirements for your software that your team never even considered. An extra pair of eyes reduces risk and uncovers areas in need of improvement.
Collaboration is critical for software implementation, but it's also important that each stakeholder and project team member provides their honest input. A consulting firm can help you prevent project mishaps and adhere to best practices. Datix is an Epicor Gold Partner, making us a leader in executing optimal ERP solutions. The premier consulting firm for discrete manufacturers and value-added distributors, we go beyond ERP to offer CRM, eCommerce, integrations, BI, cloud hosting and disaster recovery. From start to finish, we'll guide you in every step of your software journey.
To make your next software project a success, contact Datix today!