Pizza. Everyone’s had it, everyone loves it. Deep dish, thin crust, no cheese or extra cheese. Though the specifics of a pizza vary, the basics of what makes a pizza delicious and therefore, what makes a pizzeria successful are typically very similar.
In one of the most odd (but I’d like to say most appetizing) comparisons the debt collection industry has ever seen, creating the best slice of pie is a lot like creating a strong software conversion. There is the right way and the wrong way to go about completing both of these tasks, and when the process is flawed, your product gets burned.
Rule number 1: Keep constant watch. If you miss an ingredient or forget your prized pie in the oven, the result could be nothing more than trashcan-worthy. If you’re not an expert, it’s probably best to find a New Yorker who is.
When it comes to converting your software with ease, dedicate an experienced project manager, with experience in successfully completing a software implementation. Let experts who work for you take the lead on this project.
Rule number 2: Remember that this is a business. Though it may be easy to get caught up in the technicality of making the pizza the right way, it is equally important to keep in mind the needs of the business- in this case, to sell these pizzas to hungry customers.
When it comes to software conversions, companies too often make the mistake of viewing these projects solely as IT projects, since much of the work is IT concentrated. However, successful software conversion projects let the business needs drive the project, which is supported by the technical work that needs to be done.
Rule number 3: Stick to the structure. Most people wouldn’t dare put toppings on a pizza before the sauce. Sticking to a routine of dough, sauce and then toppings creates a signature slice and can almost guarantee a customer’s satisfaction.
A comprehensive and structured system development methodology (SSDM) will identify and overcome risks early, identify project dependencies and provide a clearer and more effective communication process with all project stakeholders.
Rule number 4: Be open to change. While old ovens and recipes can work, they can also harm the end product. With a change and evolution in tastes and technologies, pizzerias now embrace the pineapple pizza.
When it comes to software conversion, be ready to change the way you do business. Take advantage of new functionality. Don’t try to make the new system work just like the old system.
Rule number 5: Involve the business at every stage. Chefs, hosts, servers and delivery boys all play an important role in the pizza market. Educating these people in different aspects of the company will allow for a better understanding of what it takes to make a profitable pizza.
When it comes to software conversion, the business will be tasked with using the new system and will ultimately determine your success. Make sure they understand the system.
Rule number 6: Be patient. You wouldn’t take a pizza out of the oven if it wasn’t ready- it would be considered a sin to some and just wrong to most!
Don’t put your business at risk just to hit a deadline. If you’re not ready to go live, then don’t go! Better yet, follow rule#3 and you’ll hit your go live date and be ready when you do.
Rule number 7: Determine business requirements. Different areas of a pizzeria have different business requirements. Chefs have to create the product. Hosts have to serve up the customer service. A successful pizzeria can only be created by keeping these requirements in mind.
The first priority is documenting, defining and analyzing the business requirements from each of the various departments. But don’t assume that any requirement is standard.
Rule number 8: Test and train. No restaurant would open without training employees and hosting a night for a dry run service. This education ensures that staff members are confident in their assigned duties and that customers receive the best service and slices in town.
When it comes to software conversion. Train everyone in the organization ahead of time and test everything. Having users do the testing will help them learn the system.
…and that is how a software conversion is like the perfect piece of pizza.