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5 ways to decrease software implementation time

June 26, 2021

If SaaS companies have one thing in common, it’s both the need and desire to optimize the time dedicated to client implementations.

Reducing implementation timeframes makes for happy customers, brings in additional revenue faster, thereby enhancing revenue growth, and reducing a company’s churn rate. It also frees up valuable implementation staff for other projects, further enhancing revenue growth.

Granted, SaaS implementations can be incredibly complex. But there are ways to simplify the process and save substantial time and money. With that in mind here are several ways SaaS companies can cut gobs of time from their onboarding implementations while leaving their client both impressed and satisfied along the way.

Save time before the initial kick-off meeting

It’s not unusual for SaaS companies to have anywhere from 30 to 50 implementations underway at any given time. With each project at a different stage of completion, there’s an awful lot of information to keep track of.  

Most providers rely on spreadsheets, an assortment of status metrics and emails to nail down which projects are near completion and which personnel will be available to take on a newly won implementation.

Switching to a sophisticated project management software saves time by letting you quickly access project and personnel status, thereby allowing you to assemble and deploy your next implementation team with relative ease. Such tools can even be set to automatically alert team members of the time and kick-off date of their next assignment.

Improving the client kick-off, assigning tasks

Project management software also helps you track and leverage prior implementations to cut the amount of time needed for subsequent projects. Your latest onboardings will likely have a lot in common with prior implementations, so you can save a ton of time by locking down the basics right from the start.  

A sophisticated project management tool lets you leverage all that experience and develop product, industry or market-specific templates, with common project tasks and key integration points already laid out. This helps you and the client identify who needs to be part of the implementation team right from the get-go, including outside vendors.

Watch the integrations—they can cause big time delays!

Nothing undermines a SaaS implementation faster than delayed software integrations. One missed deadline can cause a nasty domino effect that obliterates the timeline and leaves you scrambling to get everything back on track.

Implementations typically require multiple interdependent data and app integrations involving a range of client software platforms, including single sign on (SSO) programs; data security applications; and ETLs covering everything from middleware and financial systems to customer relationship management systems.

In addition, enterprise-level clients often employ systems that allow every internal department—planning, purchasing, sales, marketing, finance, HR, accounting, and order management—to communicate and share information. And each department may have additional software programs that may also need to be integrated.

With a project management tool serving as the information hub for all project participants, you can keep a close eye on every integration, 24/7. Integration problems are identified quickly, and workarounds (if possible) can be addressed sooner, rather than later.

Keeping everybody on track saves time.

When accountabilities and due dates for each participant are clearly defined, everybody knows what’s expected of them and when. Still, a lot can and will go wrong.

The most common implementation delays involve approvals that are required before the project can proceed. A project management tool automatically notifies each participant when their approval is needed. Further, when an important step or task is completed, all participants are automatically notified, and the next step begins.

When a deadline is missed, the system can help you automatically reestablish the deadlines for all remaining work. Rather than sifting through multiple spreadsheets to determine how to get the project back on track, revised due dates can be generated automatically and then cascaded to each participant, limiting the impact of a missed deadline. This feature is executed by the project lead, so the overall project integrity is sustained.

Using lessons learned to save even more time, next time.

Finally, project management software provides you with a complete audit trail that can be reviewed post implementation to drive further time-saving efficiencies. That’s huge because it allows your team to identify and address patterns/pain points and diminish their impact the next time around.

A platform that uses real data to show you the history of past project timeframes and schedules also helps you create future timetables based on facts. That helps you avoid unrealistic deadlines in the first place and instills confidence in your client that you really are the expert.

All of which helps you build a better onboarding process and get that revenue flowing, pronto.

Save time—lots of time—by leveraging the right project management tools.

Stalled implementations delay bookings-to-billings because many SaaS clients delay payment until the software is up and running.

Employing a sophisticated project management tool—one that helps you clearly define and track each participant’s actions—will streamline your implementation processes and greatly enhance your standing with the client.

Learn how the right project management software can get your SaaS implementations on track. Get our Quick Guide to Solving the 9 Biggest SaaS Implementation Problems.