The Myth of the Perfect Software Implementation

The Myth of the Perfect Software Implementation

There is no such thing as a perfect software implementation.

Let me repeat that because it’s imperative to get this point across.

There is no such thing as a perfect software implementation.

Now it’s clear to me that more and more organizations are becoming aware that implementation, transformation, and change management initiatives are messy. Still,  it’s incredible how many organizations purchase a sophisticated software package and expect perfection. But unfortunately, the reason(s) for buying the software often takes a back seat to this elusive creature called perfection.

And instead of just accepting that perfection isn’t going to happen, everything stops. The whirling dervish of the desired perfection takes over reality. It starts with postponing the launch and then canceling it. Then quickly moves into a blame cycle, the cancelation of the contract, the shelving of the project, and then it begins again with a new complicated goal with new Software and new Services.

This is a recognizable pattern. Sure, it’s recognizable because I just wrote about it in the previous paragraph. But it’s recognizable because we all do this to some extent. It’s a very human reaction. It simply translates to:

The key decision-maker is afraid. 

Expecting perfection is a way to protect oneself from failure. But, I’m here to say – that it is ok to be afraid. That’s normal. Even worse than knowing that it’s not going to be perfect is admitting that you are scared of the fallout. It’s scary as hell. The moment when you turn on the switch to achieve whatever goals you had in mind when you bought the software – just became real. It’s easier to procrastinate or go on attack than to deal with this change.

Perfectionism is the arch-enemy to a successful implementation or major transformation.

Don’t aim for perfection. Instead, aim for good enough and iterate.

Still not convinced? Here’s a great article about “failing forward” and how decision-making is incomplete from the start, and that’s ok.

Supporting Music

Stereolab – Metronomic Underground

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

Note: Originally posted November 26, 2017

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