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August 02, 2018

4 tips for a successful IWMS implementation

Our world is rapidly changing. As new technology continues to emerge, the challenge will soon be how to best manage the growing number of devices, information, and technologies available. Organizing information in one place could be the solution, which is where an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) can help.

Report - Verdantix's Buyer's Guide Integrated Workplace Management Systems

This Buyer’s Guide will support the purchase process by providing an update on the evolution of IWMS solutions and an update on product launches and developments. 

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An IWMS can be used by Property and Facility Management departments to improve 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 optimize 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 largely depends on good preparation and the appropriate level of focus.

1. Attention to the four pillars of your organization

Although time and money are important, they are not the only success factors. A successful IWMS implementation leads to organizational improvements, which implies fundamental underlying changes. The implementation of an Integrated Workplace Management System (IWMS) is more than just implementing software, it’s a change management challenge as well.  Therefore, in addition to paying attention to the software system, you should also pay attention to the four pillars of the organization: the structure, the culture, the people and the systems. These four key pillars of the organization constantly affect each other and will be directly impacted by the implementation of an IWMS. A change in one key pillar also demands attention for the other three, so that the right balance is created and the implementation is successful.

2. Great Project Management

A successful IWMS project will account for the challenges that international businesses may face during implementation, as the project will impact multiple sites located in various countries. That means multiple cultures, languages, specific legislations, and local business customs must all be addressed and accounted for during the project.

Great project management can make all the difference... Your team will want to make sure that you have a person or group that is dedicated to managing the budget, time, and scope of the project. The project manager(s) need to identify the most important stakeholders, which may be employees, business management, customers, partners, and end-users, and keep them engaged and focused during implementation. Additionally, it is important to interpret and clarify the needs of the stakeholders and help them rank their priorities in order of importance.  

3. Appoint a change manager

The benefits of an IWMS are substantial in terms of cost transparency, process efficiency, cost reduction and workplace performance.  Success in the implementation of an IWMS can be facilitated by good change management, which is why appointing the right change manager is a critically important 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 so, it is much more likely that the introduction of an IWMS will be fully embraced and ultimately more successful.

4. Integration - the ‘I’ of IWMS

According to the latest Verdantix Buyers Guide, 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 organizations will do that maintenance themselves (or outsource it), effectively paying for it twice. However, this problem can be solved 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
Global Product Strategy & Innovation Director