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4 tips for a successful IWMS implementation

Our world is changing rapidly. With technology continuing to emerge at the current rate, the challenge will soon be how to best manage the growing number of devices, information, and technologies available. Pulling all information together in one place could be the solution, and that’s where an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) can help.

An IWMS is used by Property and Facility Management departments who want to achieve efficiency, transparency, flexibility and customer satisfaction throughout their facilities management processes. One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from companies who are interested in Planon’s IWMS solution is: ‘How do we get it successfully implemented?’ In this blogpost, I share four tips with you to optimise your IWMS implementation.

An IWMS implementation is a process of change aimed at creating value for the business. Its scope reaches far beyond the introduction of just an information system. The success of a change project like an IWMS implementation depends to a large extent on good preparation and the appropriate level of focus.

1. Attention to the four pillars of your organisation

Although time and money are important, they are not the only success factors. A successful IWMS implementation leads to organisational improvements, and this implies fundamental underlying changes. The implementation of an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) usually takes some doing and is more than just the implementation of software. In addition to paying attention to the system, you should pay attention to the four pillars of the organisation: the structure, the culture, the people and the systems. These four key pillars of the organisation constantly affect each other. A change in one key pillar also demands attention for the other three, so that the right balance is created.

2. Good Project Management

There are a lot of challenges for international businesses when deciding to carry out an IWMS implementation. These types of project will encompass multiple sites and multiple countries. Therefore, multiple cultures, specific legislations and local business customs add fundamental challenges to the project.

Good project management can make all the difference in such projects. Make sure that you have one person or a group responsible for the budget, time and keeping a grip on the scope of the project. The project manager(s) need to identify the most important stakeholders. These may be employees, business management, customers, partners, and end-users. In addition to defining who the stakeholders are, their needs must be clarified. And to set priorities in these needs, it is necessary to rank them in order of importance.

3. Appoint a change manager

The benefits of an IWMS are substantial in terms of cost transparency, efficiency, cost reduction, process efficiency and workplace efficiency. Success in a project like this can be hung up on good change management, and therefore appointing a change manager is a good decision. The change manager will be responsible for ensuring that sufficient attention is paid to all influencing factors and, through effective communication, ensure that all parties feel included and informed. By doing this, it makes it much more likely that the introduction of an IWMS will be fully embraced and ultimately more successful.

4. Integration - the ‘I’ of IWMS

While the ‘I’ of ‘Integrated’ in IWMS promises high potential value, it is sometimes overlooked. We have seen IWMS implementations carried out in ‘siloed’ ways which has resulted in lack of data sharing and reduction in overall benefits.

One typical example of this is between maintenance and property portfolio management. Often, maintenance managers are not granted access to lease contract data. However, many of these contracts describe the obligation of the lessor to perform certain maintenance on the building. When these obligations are not conveyed accurately to asset and maintenance management, many organisations will do that maintenance themselves (or outsource it), effectively paying for it twice. The way to solve this is by making as much information as possible transparent and accessible to users outside your own domain or department.

Planon’s Integrated Workplace Management System combines innovative software solutions with proven best practices and professional services. Our professional services include a standard implementation methodology with services such as project management, configuration and fine-tuning. To learn more, request a demo of our solution.

Erik Jaspers is Global Product Strategy Director.

Erik Jaspers

Global Product Strategy Director

For the past 24 years, Erik Jaspers has worked for Planon in several leadership positions focused on the development of Planon’s software solutions. Erik is a member of the IFMA EMEA Board and an IFMA Fellow.

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