CMMS Success Basics: Define Your Pain. Know Who’s Affected. Succeed.

16th May 2013
16th May 2013

By guest blogger Jason Johnson

Every day, I speak with maintenance and facility managers who are struggling to figure out what they need in a maintenance management software package. Roughly 50% of them are first-time buyers. The other half are either replacing software that isn’t working for them anymore, or trying to fix broken organizational processes so they can use their software more effectively.

All these people ask the same question: “How can I be sure I get software and implement changes that are going to improve my results?” I always have the same answer: “Start with the basics by a) making sure you understand the problem, and b) knowing who’s going to be affected by your decisions—and how.”

By “understand the problem,” I mean that you should make an honest assessment of what’s pushing you to make a change. Knowing this will clarify your thinking and help you focus on the right priorities. I typically group these catalysts for change into four categories of “pain points”:

  1. Functional: A functional pain point occurs when an existing system isn’t delivering on a core maintenance-related function.
  2. Technological: A technological pain point occurs when the system you’re currently using is no longer a match for the way you need to conduct the management, execution, and tracking of maintenance.
  3. Organizational: Organizational pains are ones that “roll downhill” to you from other places in the organization. You inherit them from someone else who’s feeling pain and requires you to fix it.
  4. Scalability: Scalability pains are driven by organizational growth, which causes you to make system and process changes.

To learn more about understanding your pain points and how to address them, download our free buyer’s guide, What Are Your Pain Points?

So what about understanding who’s going to be affected by changes you make? The impact of your decisions will reach far beyond your immediate team, to a wide range of stakeholders. You should ask yourself how each one of these people is likely to be affected—and how they might react to the coming changes in systems or processes.

The “usual suspects” include

  • Users
  • IT Managers
  • Senior Managers
  • Procurement
  • Finance
  • Legal and Compliance

Each one of these roles can have a huge influence on the success (or failure) of your maintenance management program. To better understand how to evaluate the needs of each of these stakeholders, download our free guide, Know Your Stakeholders: Who to Include in the Software Buying Process.

So whether you’re considering new CMMS software or just changes to your existing processes, remember to plan for success. You can only do so by clearly understanding the problem you’re trying to solve and knowing how it will affect everyone in the organization.

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