Field service management software

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This blog post is brought to you by IFS’s Vice President Research and Development, Tom Bowe.

I recently finished a large-scale IFS Field Service Management implementation in the UK and have been asked multiple times how I was able to successfully manage this complex, demanding project without having a heart attack. Here’s a look at the high-level process I used to keep things moving forward.

The Four Ds

1. Define

This stage focuses on starting fast, creating the plan and establishing the team.

  • Do your research
  • Talk to leaders
  • Have a good Statement of Work
  • Learn the requirements
  • Set aggressive milestones
  • Pick your team
  • Organize workshops
  • Assess their team
  • Establish rhythm

2. Design

The recipe for success in this phase combines equal portions of documentation, process mastery and collaboration with careful time management.

  • Assign ownership
  • Always measure progress
  • Process deep dives
  • Start integration early
  • Manage scope
  • Team collaboration and evaluation
  • Get customer feedback
  • Identify the gaps

3. Develop

This stage is all about execution; creating, building, doing and most importantly, completing. Managing change, multi-tasking and prioritization are critical.

  • Design and deploy
  • Weekly drops
  • Perfection is not a prerequisite
  • Manage change and money
  • Schema is key
  • Transfer ownership
  • Get customer feedback
  • Code complete
  • Code freeze
  • QA testing

4. Deploy

The most stressful phase of the project, going live, requires excellent communication, patience and determination.

  • Transfer ownership
  • Repeat training
  • Leverage super users
  • Create functional teams
  • Establish weekly operations
  • Pilot
  • Manage the gaps
  • Marketing is key
  • Track before and after
  • Production roll-out
  • Regroup/Reorganize
  • Final documentation

I would love to know what you think about this approach. Comment below with your feedback and let me know if you’d like me to dive deeper into one of the 4Ds in a subsequent post.

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