“Process” is not a word that evokes excitement for most of us. It’s a necessary evil that we rely on to do our jobs efficiently. However, when working on a complex project (such as an enterprise research system implementation), a good process is key to your success.
At the 2015 Onsemble conference, a theme running throughout several sessions was the importance of defining and following proven processes throughout an OnCore Enterprise Research implementation. While our focus is specific to an enterprise research system, the importance of developing and following these processes is crucial for any large-scale system implementation.
There are a myriad of benefits to implementing a system across your enterprise. From standardizing your subject and research data to gaining greater control and understanding of your financial state, an enterprise-wide solution gives you the visibility you need to ensure you’re making the right decisions across your organization.
Forming Your Team
The first step in your implementation process is to verify that all stakeholders throughout your organization are represented within the OnCore governance structure. At Forte, we’re known for using the phrase “no silos” to describe our advice for building implementation teams. All groups need to have a voice in order to make sure that any issues are addressed quickly and effectively throughout the process.
Equally important is developing a forum for communication within your implementation team. Because team members come from many areas within your organization, their day-to-day communication may be limited. It’s imperative that they have access to an online forum, message board or website to enable feedback and communication within the implementation team. Participation is also important within face-to-face project meetings, collaborations and focus groups. Every voice needs to be heard and every member of the implementation team should feel invested in the project.
Defining and Starting the Implementation Process
The next step towards a successful implementation is defining your roadmap and your key milestones. One important (but often overlooked) aspect of an implementation is answering a simple question: How will your organization define success? What are the problems you’re trying to solve, and what are the specific goals you need to reach to solve them? While it may seem trivial, it is important that stakeholders in your organization are all moving toward the same goals. These need to be clearly stated and measurable to make your implementation successful for your organization as a whole, not only for certain individuals. Some of these goals may be outside your OnCore system entirely, such as steps toward sunsetting your legacy software.
As with many large-scale projects, you shouldn’t expect to have a fully functional, data-rich system on your go-live date. During an OnCore implementation, it’s typically beneficial to establish a “minimum footprint” of protocol and subject information that will reside in the system when you go live. You can also define what users need to be comfortable using the system on your go-live date, and detail mandatory versus voluntary use for roles within your organization.
By creating concrete, measurable and attainable goals, you can more accurately determine your team’s progress and get ahead of any issues that could derail a successful implementation. And by making sure that the entire team is on board and being held accountable for the project’s progress, you can ensure that you’ll implement a solution that’s successful for everyone.
Once your project is moving forward, it’s important to understand that a large-scale implementation such as OnCore is a constantly evolving system. While your institution should always be working toward achieving your milestones, you should work as a team to consistently measure your progress and optimize to make your system and your organization better.
For a more in-depth look at one organization’s enterprise-wide OnCore implementation, read Enterprise-wide Implementation of OnCore: Establishing Policies & Procedures or view the Clinical Research Management Module Overview by clicking the link below: