Soft Skills for Implementation

When you’re in the middle of the technicalities of implementing a new system, it’s easy to think that you or the project manager are just ticking off technical completions along the way.

While technical skills are an important factor when undertaking an implementation project, the requirements of each project would be too subjective for us to even attempt to cover. Suffice to say that it’s always a good indication if a vendor/partner has good references with successful implementations especially within your industry and a strong background in the types of core solutions within your organisation.

From our experience, a successful implementation also relies heavily on applying soft skills to achieve those project milestones. There is a lot you can find by googling “soft skills”, and it can be tempting to dismiss it as the latest buzz concept. In a nutshell, soft skills are the non-technical capabilities you apply to getting things done – communicating effectively, motivating and being motivated, effective delegation, taking responsibility for actions and consequences (instead of blame casting), even just being nice to be around. For more info, here’s a taster of what this means.

Where can we go to get good input on how to develop those capacities?

When you have a project to manhandle to completion, you’re the one who has the responsibility to get the project finished. We often don’t realise that this is a leadership role, but it is. Don’t be afraid to look more closely at leadership-oriented soft skills advice to help you along the way.

More specifically, Peter Lord identifies that developing others to competency and mastery with a new system is a key step in them committing to its use.

Then there are TED (and TEDx) talks, which are a wealth of short educational bites on just about every concept under the sun – how to speak, what’s the point of powerpoint, even how to learn. The joy of these is that as well as the core message, you’ll often find yourself exposed to new perspectives which can change your worldview. Michael Jr does this when he cleverly uses comedy to explain how you can change the punchline of your own story.

Coming back to the point then, it’s not just the core technical skills which will ensure the delivery of your project on-time and on-budget. Your soft skills can help to ensure that the project is also a success in terms of bringing about the business impact for which it was intended. You may have seen research like this which talks about the likelihood of projects achieving the anticipated benefits. If you don’t want your project going the same way, consider carefully those soft skills which will contribute to the success of your implementation.

What is your company struggling with? Drop us a line if you want to have a chat or stay in touch with our updates.

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