A communication breakdown is a failure to exchange critical information with those who need it most. They are costly, inefficient, and damaging to your business. In fact, it’s estimated that communication barriers cost the average organization a whopping $62.4 million per year in lost productivity.
In the case of software implementations, a failure to communicate effectively can have catastrophic implications because customers are left shaking their heads in frustration while you’re scrambling to pick up the pieces, not to mention constantly playing catchup to missed deadlines.
In this post, we’ll explore how communication problems can wreak havoc on software implementation projects and why having the right tools to help you manage the communication flow could save you time, money and unnecessary stress.
So, let’s get to it. Here are 3 ways communications breakdowns can cripple your software implementation:
Clear expectations aren’t set or understood
The expectations you set at the very beginning of the project are what you’re stuck with. Aggressive deadlines will make the client happy in the moment that you present them, but if you have over-promised and you can’t deliver, that happiness shifts to disappointment.
Be realistic about how long tasks will take to complete, who is available to actually complete those tasks, and how long client approvals will truly take. But good planning is only part of the solution for effective communication during a project.
How do you keep everyone — implementation teams and the client — accountable for meeting deadlines and up to date on status? Real-time visibility.
The right project management tool gives everyone the appropriate view into upcoming deadlines, project delays, and task dependencies. Keeping everyone up to date and satisfied doesn’t mean sharing every detail with every person. The right tool allows you to share only what is needed with your client, and keeps your internal team communications private.
Missed deadlines pile up fast
When the communication flow is siloed or simply not reaching the right people at the right time, missed deadlines are bound to happen.
Nothing makes or breaks a project like made or missed deadlines. In some cases, a missed deadline can come and go. In a SaaS implementation, a missed deadline today could cost you dearly down the line because the next milestone can’t be completed until the one before is finished. It might seem obvious, but it’s uncanny how many businesses fail to see the domino effect of missed deadlines.
Why does this happen? Lack of visibility into the interdependencies of your project. Interdependencies across multiple organizations are very hard to manage.
If your company is still using spreadsheets to manage every step, success may be a long way off. The right project management tool — one that gives you visibility into those interdependent tasks — can alert team members of how and when upcoming timelines might be put in jeopardy by delays in preceding tasks.
You can’t recover when things go wrong
Picture this: you believe your implementation plan is bulletproof – nothing can go wrong.
However, your team is managing the implementation using spreadsheets and internal project management tools. These tools are static and require manual updating leaving you with little visibility or understanding as to why your immaculate plan is suddenly going awry.
In the end, your plans fail. Worst of all, you couldn’t see it coming because you were limited by the outdated tools you were using. It’s weeks later when you realize that it’s too late to steer back to your original goals and deadlines. Ouch.
So, how do you prevent this breakdown and adapt to the inevitable issues that will arise during software implementation?
Get rid of all of that manual updating. Use a project tool that lets you see the impact to your timeline and budget right away. One that allows you to alter the plan and lets you inform the client right away, so the relationship stays on solid ground and you keep your reputation intact.
Get rid of communication problems with the right tools
Software implementation shouldn’t hurt your reputation. Rather, it should you solidify your relationship with your customer, assuring them that they made the right choice.
Baton is a project management platform built especially for SaaS implementations and it can address many of implementation challenges that teams struggle with, including communication breakdowns. With Baton, you’ll realize revenue sooner, hit the expectations set with your clients, and move on to everything else you need to get done today.
Want to learn more about the most common SaaS implementation hurdles and how to address them?
Download our guide “The Quick Guide to Solving Biggest SaaS Implementation Problems” now.