Facility & Maintenance Management

7 Tips for Implementing CMMS and CAFM Successfully

August 11, 2022

Digital transformation is essential for business growth, especially in the real estate industry.

Companies face several challenges in managing their assets, procedures, or risks and currently, traditional tools like Excel sheets are no longer sufficient.

One of the most important ways for organizations to stay on top of these demands is to take advantage of multi-faceted applications like CAFM or CMMS.

CAFM/CMMS system helps simplify and optimize tasks such as work orders, asset and equipment management, inspection scheduling, or occupier communication.

CAFM/CMMS Software Implementation – Are You Sure It’s Not a Big Deal?

How difficult or challenging is it to implement CAFM/CMMS system?

Implementing new technology is always a challenge, even for the most flexible organizations.

But don’t worry! Based on our knowledge and experience, we have prepared seven tips that can help you in the successful software implementation:

1. Clearly Understand and Define Your Goals

For the overall success of a CAFM implementation, the most important thing is to lay solid foundations.

The element that determines success is the proper definition of the purpose of the project and the establishment of the scope of work.

To achieve this, it is worth asking questions like the following:  

  • What features are necessary for your company?
  • Which ones are a priority?
  • Which business departments can benefit from using the system?

A very important part of the analysis is the identification of the actual business processes taking place in the company.

This makes it easy to determine what modules and solutions are needed, which CAFM system will meet the requirements, and - what modifications are worth making to the company's operations.

Sometimes it's easier to write down the most significant requirements in a pre-implementation document. Relying on such a document can streamline and speed up the implementation process.

2. Choose the Right Implementation Project Coordinator

An effective implementation team, led by a dedicated project coordinator, is required to drive a CAFM project to successful completion, on time.

The implementation leader should come from the operations side of the business and be the person that most people turn to when they have a question or a problem.

The project coordinator will communicate the issues faced by the company regarding business solutions to the software provider.

Such a person should have soft communication skills and both technical and organizational knowledge.

3. Planning

Benjamin Franklin once said,

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

The implementation plan must have all the tasks required from beginning to end.

 

Planning can make the difference between failure and success in the implementation of CAFM software. That's why it's a good idea to divide the project into stages with specific timeframes.

When determining estimated completion dates for tasks, it is useful to plan milestones around these dates and project completion.

After the completion of each milestone, it is useful to collect feedback and take it into account when moving to the next stage

Implementation is a dynamic process so we can expect milestones, dependencies, and duration of each task to change. However, we should ensure that the beginning and end of the project take place within the planned timeframe

During implementation planning, it is a good practice to use Gantt Charts because of the clear way to display the schedule on the timeline.

How to develop an implementation plan
How to develop an implementation plan

4. Kick-off Meeting

A good start is half the battle.

An opening meeting should be used to motivate team members and to focus their efforts on tactical execution. A strong kick-off meeting can enhance a project’s chances of success.

During the opening meeting, it is a good idea to establish the most important issues related to the implementation.

We should:

  • identify coordinator/project team,
  • discuss the timelines,
  • and determine the next steps of implementation.

The kick-off meeting provides a chance to look at the project multidimensionally, as each participant focuses on his part of the project and sees strengths and weaknesses in it

Since the opening meeting is mainly for information display rather than discussion, so some important matters should be cleared before the kick-off meeting, otherwise, we will not be able to keep the timeframe of the meeting.

5. Constant Communication

During implementation, you will face many meetings with the project team. It is a good practice to make the meetings weekly and hold them regularly.

Outside of meetings, it is most convenient to communicate using e-mail or even communication/project management tools. This way all communication remains transparent. Information transmitted over the phone can get lost.

It is better to use a solution that aggregates knowledge about the progress of the project and allows free exchange of feedback.

6. Training

The determining factor in the success of CAFM system implementation is their future users.

Certainly, employees in all roles affected by the CAFM implementation will require training to understand the software fundamentals and the over-arching organizational benefits it will provide.

It is good for users to be able to test and learn about the new system even before it goes into production.

You have to take into account that training can consume a lot of time and resources, so this stage is worth starting as early as possible.

Training should be in an attractive form, it is also worth considering conducting them in the form of workshops.

7. Post-Implementation Support

The CAFM system has been implemented, so what’s next?

Ensure proper post-implementation support from the software vendor. This phase is as important as the implementation process itself.

End-users need to be confident operating a new CAFM solution, and providing high-quality, effective, post-go-live support is crucial to the overall CAFM success.

You need to be assured that you will be able to count on support if you notice a malfunction of the system.

CAFM Software Implementation – Summary

As you can see - implementation is balancing on a thin line. On the one hand, we have the implementation project - on the other, the reality, which often differs from it.

On the one hand, we have a set schedule, on the other a work organization that makes it difficult to properly go through training.

Many factors must work together to make the implementation a complete success.

We hope these tips will be helpful to achieve great success during CAFM implementations!

Are you looking for a CAFM/CMMS tool?

Contact our team today and let us help you implement software that will meet your needs.

Written by:
Tomasz Bąk
PropTech Expert

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