So you’ve picked your point of sale. Now what?
Here’s the first post in a series exploring best practices for common challenges facing enterprise point of sale (POS) solutions, co-authored by Cristal Ghitman, enterprise sales executive in Revel Systems. To start the series we’re starting with the painful process of change–that is, change management for an enterprise point of sale.
Sometimes selection is the easy part
We’ll start with a scenario. Let’s say you were tasked with spearheading the option of a new POS, a very long and arduous process often driven by factors out of your control. Changes in the company, improvements in technology, phased out hardware or costly upgrades, evolving customer behaviors, or even a global pandemic… the listing of uncontrollable influences is lengthy. Eventually your current solution doesn’t work out, and now is the time to find something new.
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Finally, your search lands you with new technologies after weeks of painstaking evaluation and testing. You’ve had buy-in across all of your associations, validated partnerships, asked for expansion, and vetted out with each area of your brand including operations, HR, and finance. You have determined that the new solution will emulate the processes you can not change and value in your business. You have agreed on what your new technologies can do to increase your brand.
However, now you’re realizing decision could have been the easy part of the undertaking. However perfect the solution is how thoroughly you have assessed it out, the true exam remains to be seen in your stores operating daily. The accomplishment of your choice hinges on your employees throughout the company and how their use of the new platform translates into client experience and earnings.
Implementation, the unsung hero
It’s rubber hits the road time, where the true unsung heroes of technology change come in and start doing the dirty work. Implementation folks. The dream-to-reality team making it happen. And no matter how perfect your solution may be, or how carefully you have thought through the change, this is where the real magic happens.
Lingering questions about change management and implementation
While implementation is a known, bewitching piece of the enterprise change management process, there are some lingering concerns we need to address about it:
- Why do we often introduce implementation strategies so late?
- Why are not enough questions asked upfront about what the installation and project management will look like?
- How confident are you that your provider can do that shift?
As acknowledged in the introduction of the post, this is the first of a short series which will dive deeper into the vital aspects to consider when choosing your point of sale and actually seeing it come to life on your enterprise. We’ll start with a substantial factor: project management.
Project management is essential
According to Craig Crawford, director of implementation at Revel Systems, the number one thing you can do to improve change management for an enterprise point of sale (or any other vital systems change, for that matter), is bring in job management early and often.
“Sometimes a bargain has offered and the ball gets tossed over the fence, but the team on the opposite side doesn’t even know what game we are playing yet,” Craig says. There are a high number of approaches and scenarios around change management. It’s important to start building trust with the employees you’re engaging with from the beginning. This is the group that will ultimately get the work done, for better or for worse.
A couple project management best practices
- Have a very clear strategy. Clarity is important to a completely new project’s success. Starting with a project brief or very clear outline of what you hope to achieve through the project can allow you to keep organized and on track to meet milestones and your overall project objectives. Remember to identify team member roles and responsibilities. And if specific tasks are determined by completion of additional tasks, map out what should happen in consecutive order.
- Communicate clearly, frequently, and always. Regular communication can help you quickly identify issues and roadblocks throughout your project so you can address them before they spiral. From the start of the project, establish and maintain your communication channels and cadence for the length of this job.
- Prepare to take corrective actions when required. Wouldn’t it be great if occupations progressed without problems? Ideal as that would be, challenges will inevitably arise as your project evolves. Have a plan in place from the start to look after needs for adjusted timelines, budgets, and job direction as they happen. When you wind up deviating from the program, take early and decisive action to manage changes and right your own program.
- Stick to the scope. Scope creep is real. Even projects with clearly defined boundaries in the beginning can balloon during the execution phase. When possible, stick to the original scope and only change it if absolutely necessary.
- Keep key stakeholders involved. Whether you are beginning a new job, attaining critical milestones, or nearing job completion, you might want to keep your key stakeholders present in each project phase. This means obtaining official sign-off from everyone involved and keeping them in the loop from beginning to end.
Stay tuned for more…
Modifying your POS will always be a painstaking process. It requires months of careful analyzing, planning, selection, and preparation. While we’ve scratched the surface in this blog post on the many factors that influence a change of this size, you’re encouraged to stay tuned for future posts in this series for even more insight on change management for an enterprise point of sale. We’re going to explore factors like key stakeholders, education, ecosystem integrations, and issue management.
►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
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