Implementing CMMS: Why Are You Doing This?

16th January 2013
16th January 2013

Why are you doing this?

CMMS software implementation has an extremely high failure rate. I have seen statistics that suggest nearly 70% of CMMS software purchased is sitting on someone’s shelf and no one is using it. Seventy percent! As a business owner I find this number incredibly repulsive and hard to believe.

Why are you doing this?

We talk to thousands of organizations about implementing our software each year and typically one of the first questions our sales representatives ask is “Why are you doing this?” Answering this very simple question is one of the most important things an organization can do to insure the CMMS software purchased is what is needed and gets implemented. Of course the ‘you’ in this question is a global you, meaning your entire organization and all the stakeholders. Each stakeholder may have their own answers to this question, and that’s OK.

Why are you doing this?

The hardest part of this very simple question is realizing that not everyone’s answer is the same. There has to be some agreement on why the purchase of CMMS software is happening. What often happens in failed implementations is the purchaser failed to communicate. They may have known why the product was purchased, but didn’t communicate to everyone else that was affected by the purchase. Another reason is there was no buy in from those stakeholders who were not involved in the process.

Why are you doing this?

When customers come to our office for training, I make it a point of asking this question. Usually I get the answer, “to learn how to use the software better.” To that answer I typically ask, “why do you want to use the software better?” I warn them that merely using a CMMS software package is tedious, time consuming, boring, cumbersome, difficult, burdensome, and dreary. If you lose sight of—or never knew why—then you most likely are not going to have a successful experience with you software.

Why are you doing this?

Once the answer(s) to this very simple question are known, you need to make sure the implementation is giving you what you wanted. If the reason the software was purchased was for improving processes, or implementing a PM program, or reducing the cost of maintenance, or improving the reporting capability, or any of the other reasons people purchase CMMS software; measure the results. Only then will you know if you are being successful.

I am betting no one purchases a CMMS software package to do data entry, to spend copious amounts money, or to consume all their free time (which they didn’t have to begin with!). So, I ask you, why are you doing this?

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