Bad client engagements end with the client resenting you, and we have all been there. Acceptable client engagements end with agreement you’ve answered the project deliverables. But the best client engagements end with the client’s people becoming enthusiastic cheerleaders for your work—ensuring a prime position for their next big project.
Strangely, what separates bad from brilliant is not the partner’s expertise, or quality of deliverable, or even whether the system works or not; it is the positive attitude that the partner exudes, and that the customer picks up on. A feeling that the partner achieved the highest goal of all; not just putting software in place but understanding how people get value from it.
And that does not just depend on software, it is about building a relationship with the client’s employees, especially those who will use what you put in place. And when your solution replaces familiar software that they have used for years—like an existing ERP setup—the possibilities for you as a partner falling flat on your face, are significant.
So, let’s take a look at five things Mavim has learned about getting to that best-case outcome, based on our 20+ years actually doing it. You may find it useful in your own work as a Microsoft Partner, and perhaps afterwards, to see how we do it by checking out our ERP Implementation Accelerator.
First, establish the *real* operational model.
“Single version of the truth” is a common expression among finance folk. But peel back the skin of any organization, and you’ll find few actually have one. In fact, most people have multiple versions of what isn’t true.
That is normal. Everyone has biases, based on their role in company operations and their interactions with other people and departments. And that includes people doing the same job at the same desk. (Or on the same Zoom.) But to get where you’re going, you need to know where you are now, which means your first step is to find that singular, accurate view of the business as-is, with all its interlocking processes and data flows.
There is only one way to do that, look at actual data in the client’s systems, matching each transaction to a specific point in a process, seeing how often it happens and how many variants of it there are. Mavim can help understand this with process mining, by getting started with an industry-specific template, connecting each process step to actual sources of data, extracting metrics, and measuring what helps you understand its importance. In order to utilize Mavim process mining, you must first know the as-is as it relates to the operational model.
Second, use data to build mutual understanding.
The single version of the truth is the client’s operational model—and it is a huge help in the second step: getting the client team onboard at the outset. It lets you say to anyone in the client organization, at any level, “Here’s your process—look at all the work you’re doing!”
Moreover, it demonstrates you understand that your employees are not cogs in your machine; they’re important players in success. Additionally, it shows that your goal is to make their lives easier, not harder—and this creates a positive atmosphere from day one.
Because cloud-based Mavim uses software many clients know already—like Visio for process diagrams—communicating this becomes a lot easier. You can hold seminars, share process maps, demonstrate what you are doing in a way that makes sense to everybody. After all, your client is not the C-Suite executive who hired you. It’s the entire client organization and you can foster faster adoption rates by getting them all on board.
Third, check what success looks like—to the client
The next step involves the most important question in all business—which is also one of the least asked. The full question is: “What does success look like, from the client’s perspective?” (Many project managers focus too much on the first half.)
Process mining gives you a place to stand. For example, if a process such as accepting orders happens in 145 wasteful variants, success means streamlining them into one. With Mavim, you can show how much more efficient that ideal process is using facts and figures.
This is done with a DTO, or Digital Twin of the Organization. It’s the same operational model, brought to life by the same sources of data … but separate, so you can tweak and twist each process to see the effect it’ll have. By doing so, this creates a target operational model; an “ideal world” to aim for.
Perhaps your teams in Paris and Amsterdam could standardize order entry, reducing costs. Or New York could handle Miami’s invoicing, shortening payment cycles. These actions are known as Business Process Management, which show the client what success looks like, before changes are rolled out.
Fourth, put the process at the center, not the software
Different offices, sharing one system. Multiple teams, using the same process. Dispersed people, accessing the same data. Doesn’t that sound perfect for the latest evolution of ERP: cloud SaaS?
Of course, Mavim’s software (collectively known as our Intelligent Transformation Platform) isn’t limited to Microsoft rollouts. But it is native to Azure, meaning it plays well with Azure-based services, like Power Apps. Power Automation. Power BI. Everything you need to move your client’s processes and make the moving parts work.
After all, that’s what a successful transformation is about, improving the way the company works, not “migrating software”.
A business process is ultimately a series of actions performed on data. With Mavim’s ITP, those processes can be visually connected, tested, and annotated, with documentation where it should be: attached to the actual process model. So, you’re not just training the client team in how to use it: you’re showing them how much better it is.
Fifth, celebrate the opportunities!
So you’ve moved from current situation to ideal model. The project’s complete and you’ve shaken hands. The end? Not at all. The last part of driving user adoption involves future opportunities.
The greatest success of all is when your clients use your transformation methods to transform further; by continuing to explore process improvements, see if changes have bedded in, look for more ways to standardize and simplify, and enjoy the results.
Once they’re at that point, you’ll have a client for life. Because you don’t just have shared goals: you have shared philosophy.
At this point, you’re no longer vendor and customer, or even partner and client, you’re on the same team, with aligned objectives. And when they need help implementing each new process, you’ll be the first person they call.
Mavim’s Intelligent Transformation Platform helps you at every step, by fostering user understanding, adoption, and delight. And the process doesn’t stop.
Mavim helps Partners turn doubtful clients into customers for life
There’s one more element to Mavim’s ITP: the ERP Implementation Accelerator, a proven model for taking clients from zero to hero in any ERP cloud migration. And it’s designed specifically with Microsoft Partners in mind. So as your next step, take a look for yourself.
As the process excellence community continues to grow and evolve, now more than ever, it is important to find the right platform and solution for your company. To learn more about how Mavim can help your organization, contact us today.