3 Pillars of Software Implementation - Part 1

January 09, 2024
3 Pillars of PPM Software Implementation

By John Bennett, Project Controls Solutions Lead at Locana

Locana is a Deltek-authorized partner and has been delivering Cobra, PM Compass and other Deltek solutions successfully to infrastructure, government and defense clients for more than five years.

I recently presented the Success Pillars of Software Implementation at Deltek Project Nation Live in London to a packed audience. My session included the three key pillars applicable to project controls software implementation: People, Processes and Products. Under these pillars, I identified the points that will make the difference between a mediocre project and a great one.

This article discusses the first pillar, People. Processes and Products will be discussed in future articles.


1. Sponsorship

Having the right support at the right levels in the organization is crucial to enabling business change activities. You need senior support. Deploying and configuring the software can be achieved, but if the senior organization doesn't enforce behavioral change, there may be resistance which will inhibit adoption and frustrate the realization of benefits.

2. Identify the Best Resources

Allocate a resource within the client organization that understands the end goal, including Earned Value Management System (EVMS)terminology and the need for a robust schedule to integrate with. Someone who has the capacity and ability to support the project within the customer. Whether this means hiring a new person for the project or using someone internally freed up from their day job, the difference between success and failure can often be attributed to the presence or lack of a skilled resource to assist.

3. Organizational Readiness

Often, organizations think they can benefit from the change, but they are not ready for it. How capable is the rest of the organization to receive the solution? Having EVMS requires discipline and control of data. Does the client know what a Control Account (CA) or Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is?

Readiness often has to do with the way that leaders communicate their vision and the measurable outcomes of the project – how it will impact users, teams and the bottom line of the company.

Assessing readiness determines the level of support required. If the organization is willing to accept and non-resistant, it will be a different path to that which will be needed if the teams are unaware of the new solution. Projects will be implemented quicker when the customer is ready to receive the new solution and accepts it. Other factors can slow projects down, or even block them.

4. Training

In the last two steps, I’ve identified a gap in knowledge. Customized training can be implemented to fulfill differences in learning styles. Some want to be taught, some want to game, some want to read. Partners can identify the best methods to get optimized outcomes instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. Deltek University and Deltek Learning Zone are prime examples of appropriate methods of training. Sometimes, organizations have dedicated internal training resources, while others leverage the help of an industry expert who can look at each situation differently and propose the appropriate methods and channels.

5. Support Model

Identify super users and support champions capable of handling first-line support, answering frequently asked questions, or dealing with support tickets. Ensuring the appointed people are in their roles early in the project means they can be involved at critical stages and develop a sense of ownership around the new system. This also helps them to be able to answer WHY something is done a certain way. This, in turn, enables end users to understand the reason for the change and associated benefits.

6. Partnership

Experts implement systems on a daily basis. To use an analogy, when undergoing renovation, in the first instance without experience, costly mistakes are made that, in turn, delay completion. The shared knowledge base and experience when working with a partner can help avoid pitfalls, create an on time on cost implementation project and often provides a more efficient result.

7. Socialize

It’s important for clients to get out and talk to other organizations that have achieved similar solutions. Clients can either find an existing group or create one. The value of shared experience can address the fear of being alone; as a community, you are bigger when communicating back to your vendor, for example, regarding enhancements or roadmaps. You can share workarounds and understand whether a client is unique in their situation.

Attending Deltek events such as Project Nation Live and other industry earned value virtual and in-person events gets teams talking about trends and best practice.

How Locana Can Help

Are you interested in learning more? Locana's culture of competence and transparency has built an enviable reputation in the UK over the past 30 years. Our professional services organization has successfully implemented Deltek PPM software solutions for years. The team’s knowledge base is robust because it is comprised of people dedicated to our clients’ success. 

With customers ranging from 1 to 12,000 users, Locana has a track record of accomplishment working with a range of software combinations and processes in teams of varying size, scale and complexity. In addition, Locana is not solely aligned with any one vendor and is truly independent with multi-vendor expertise, so it is able to advise based on each individual situation depending on the requirements of the organization. 

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, where I’ll share insights around the Processes pillar and how it applies to project controls software implementation.


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About the Author

John Bennett is a Principal Consultant and leads Locana's Project Controls team in the UK. He is an expert for many of the leading Project, Programme and Portfolio Management products whether delivered through cloud and subscription models or traditional on-site deployments. John has a background in providing high quality IT services and has over 25 years of experience in setting the strategy and roadmap for the delivery of complex integrated business solutions across multiple industry sectors.