If there is one part, one aspect of what software companies do that few people understand, it is implementation. It is -- in my opinion -- what makes or breaks a client relationship. During implementation, the client discovers:
- If they were mislead during the evaluation process...either by their internal staff or the salesperson.
- If they failed to ask a business critical question about a must-have feature or functionality.
- If they fully understand their own business processes.
- If they have a culture that is receptive or resistant to technology and change.
Implementation is not a word most people use outside the executive boardroom or the professionals who are responsible for such activity. Implementation is the period of time that bridges two stages: “I’ve made my decision to move forward with you.” to “We are successfully running and using your software.” The implementation journey is different every time. There are obviously some unique characteristics. But every church is different so every implementation process is different.
There are no secrets after the implementation process is complete. The dating process is over, and you’re now married. Surprises will almost definitely come. But somehow in the midst of this sometimes awkward and uncomfortable process, we have the privilege of solidifying the trust churches first gave to us during the evaluation process which evolves into a deep friendship that makes communication possible moving forward.
Implementation is a necessary evil. It is also an opportunity to forge a lasting partnership. Our goal is the latter every time.
What has been your experience implementing software in your church?