Every Implementation Requires a Healthy Balance Between the Client and Consultant
Cohesive prides ourselves on being a trusted advisor to the clients we serve. For both the duration of the project and future maintenance of your systems and processes, we aim to enable your organization to achieve and sustain operational excellence. It is necessary for both the client and the Maximo consultant to maintain a trusted relationship to ensure client happiness and overall project success.
For this month’s employee spotlight, we sat down with Karen Kanuch. Karen manages a variety of Maximo projects that include new implementations, system upgrades, and staff augmentation activities and has been with the company for over seven years. We asked her for some insight into the relationship between vendors and clients.
Describe the relationship between Cohesive and their client during a Maximo project.
One of the first things that I experienced when I began working at Cohesive Solutions is that, as an organization, we engage in our customer relationships as long term partnerships. I am proud to work for a company where my peers hold themselves to such a high standard of integrity. We work diligently to gain our customer’s trust and our perspective is that their success is ours as well.
When we approach our business relationships in this way, our customers begin to view us as an extension of their teams. They know they can call on us to give them sound direction in not only the area of Maximo’s software configuration but also in the area of business process and best practices. From experience, I can tell you that our customers appreciate our expertise and vision for how to make their processes more efficient and return better results.
What advice would you give to an organization seeking to implement or update their Maximo system?
I want to refer to a specific habit from Stephen Covey’s, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People and say, “begin with the end in mind.” Starting with clear goals and objectives on what the team wants to accomplish from the project, get agreement from the core customer team, and stay focused on those guiding principles throughout the entire project.
As a PM I have seen customers start with the best intentions with what they want to accomplish with an established timeline, scope, and budget. However, it is easy to go off track and start trying to fix every problem that exists.
Most of the issues that arise are valid, but it is imperative to stay on track, stay to the original scope and if time and budget allows, create a new plan to take care of those lingering issues.
How can clients stay organized for their Maximo vendor who is managing the project?
A healthy relationship between vendor and client is vital. There are steps you can take as a client to ensure a project is mutually successful, communication being the biggest component. When it comes to this relationship, communication is key. As a team and an organization, you should be in regular contact with each other, and be sure to come to your Maximo vendor with any questions, concerns, ideas, red flags, etc. A good practice is to have weekly stand-up meetings, both internally within your organization and externally with your vendor to discuss weekly actions, issues and obstacles, and next steps.
Another tip for a successful partnership is considering parallel projects. In these internal weekly stand ups, communicate about what other projects are happening within your organization and how those may impact the Maximo implementation.
This helps the consultant get an idea of possible distractions to the scope of the project and can ensure they are making the best decisions for your organization.
What are the keys to successful Maximo upgrades, updates, and implementations as it relates to the client side?
There are many concepts and behaviors that support a successful project. However, one of the biggest culprits in derailing a project schedule, scope and budget is the testing phase. Everyone knows it is significant, but preparation is not always in line with our perception of its importance. On many occasions it is financially beneficial for customers to manage the testing themselves, but to be successful the following needs to be planned out for execution as early in the project as possible:
- Who will be testing the product?
- Do test scripts exist that can be updated with any new enhancements/improvements?
- If there are not test scripts in existence, who will be writing them?
- What is the format of the test scripts? Does it include positive and negative testing?
- What are the criteria for a pass/fail/showstopper?
- What will the project team do with feedback from end users through testing that does not fit within the current scope but need to be addressed?
- What is the schedule for all the above?
We hope you use these insights in your next Maximo system update or integration. Cohesive Solutions focuses on delivering the right experience to every customer, for every project. Our Momentum Methodology model is a structured approach to planning and executing our projects, and is steeped in industry expertise, Maximo product skills, a proven methodology, and seasoned leadership. To learn more about how we manage our projects, click here or contact us.