IT implementation best practices that go beyond on-time and on-budget


How can IT teams assure the success of new solutions during – and after – their IT implementation?

 K.C. Van Voorhis, a customer success manager at Hyland, knows what makes or breaks a successful IT implementation, as well as what Hyland customers can do to fail-proof their IT implementation plans.

A concern new IT customers sometimes bring with them is a fear of implementation failure.

The struggle — an implementation hangover, as we call it in Customer Success — is experienced by many IT teams that have gone through the long, arduous journey of implementing a major new system across their enterprise.

With 70 percent of IT project implementations being unsuccessful, it’s not surprising that implementation hangovers persist. Sometimes, these new customers have implemented a new system beautifully, only to find the solution — or the impacts of the solution — didn’t deliver.

Teams experience all kinds of stressful and time-consuming obstacles along their road to implementation, from coordinating it among many departments to establishing buy-in among leaders with their own agendas. But usually, these obstacles are overcome, and the implementations are completed. The mission to implement is accomplished.

With the successful implementation achieved, IT teams often take a moment to recover, through a celebration or by stopping to take a breath before moving on to the next big project.

The problem is that the implementation hangover can last longer than just the moment after achieving the IT goal. It can last months, or even years, and can have a debilitating impact on the solution’s promise — from lackluster user adoption of the solution to a lower return on investment compared to what leadership was sold.

At Hyland, our Customer Success team doesn’t give the concept of implementation hangover any space to impede a solution’s success. Rather, our customers benefit from decades of a well-crafted, evolving IT implementation roadmap.

Let’s investigate three situations I have encountered that keep organizations from realizing their investment and moving on after an implementation that didn’t go as expected.

17% of large IT projects go so badly, they threaten the existence of the company. Read about the five factors of successful IT implementation plans.

3 IT implementation challenges and the best practices that combat them

Challenge #1: A lack of business user adoption undermines the solution’s potential

User adoption can be a challenge, especially during digitally transformative events or when changing from a legacy system to a new system. Many times, teams that are directly impacted by the changing processes and systems have little or no say in the choice of systems and changes in process. This leads many implementations to fail, not because of poor system implementation but because the business users did everything within their power to not use the new system and processes as designed.

I worked with a customer that went through this very situation. The implementation was technically sound and working within expected parameters, but the primary business area using the system did everything in their power to block the system from working or being as efficient as it could have been.

This led to IT staff buying into the idea that the system was the problem and not the operational processes used by the group.

The result? All work stopped on further expansion of the system.

The Hyland Customer Success team was called in to assess the usage of the system due to the complaints from the business unit. The team reviewed both the technical setup and operational processes used by the business unit. A SWOT analysis was provided to customer leadership detailing the observations and providing guidance on system usage that aligned with documented best practices to help the IT and business users understand how to use the system in a more efficient and effective manner.

IT implementation best practices include giving the team directly impacted a view into the change process.

Challenge #2: A change in leadership or lack thereof precipitates a failure to launch

Sometimes, business users and supporting IT staff continue with legacy processes or limit expansion of new solutions because they don’t have the leadership in place to move the implementation forward.

In unsuccessful implementations, this could look like a gap in direction caused by leadership changes, leadership failing to take action to address the business units’ open efforts to continue with legacy processes or even outright attempts to get the system removed. Sometimes, even with a clear view of the issues preventing the team from capitalizing on the new solution, leadership still fails to act.

The result? The benefits of the new solution stagnate, and the return on the investment that leadership was sold never materializes.

Our team works with customers to determine such underlying issues. We provide a free analysis and process assessments to our customers to identify issues, create technical roadmaps and provide a vision for expansion. Each assessment is unique to the customer and addresses the enterprise’s specific technical requirements, concerns and definition of what success looks like.

Challenge #3: Team reorganization during or after implementation

Changes in support team and ownership of the system can cause challenges with expansion and realization of ROI.

A customer shared an experience with us in which advocates in the business user team slated to own and support the new system faced a sudden reorganization. Just before go-live, the main advocate and support owner left the company and a temporary owner was assigned. The new support owner had no buy-in to the project and wanted nothing to do with the system or support. Seizing on this, the business area, which had already been reluctant about the system and the changes that would come with it, aligned with the new support person to prevent further ROI realization for the enterprise.

The result? They decelerated the implementation by not addressing issues and by actively advocating to cease system expansion until their one business unit that did not want the change was addressed.

The Hyland Customer Success team was engaged for an onsite operational assessment. Focusing on the concerns of both the business unit and IT leadership, the customer success team reviewed processes working directly with the business unit and other stakeholders.

The end result was an operational assessment report that addressed the concerns of the users by providing best practice usage and examples for how other customers use the system to manage the same processes. The report parsed out areas of action and identified which team would own which work, such as IT to modify certain configuration settings and operational leaders to adjust business process.

How Hyland customers can fail-proof their IT implementations

These are just three of many IT implementation hangover examples that Hyland’s Customer Success team has addressed following a major system implementation, but there are other factors that can lead to limited or no realization of the return promised or the strategic vision crafted during the sales process.

For all the challenges that come with change and new system implementation, there are ways to recognize them when they arise, avoid the total failure they can cause and realize the return on the investment.

Hyland customer action steps

Hyland customers, we encourage you to engage with your Hyland account executive and ask about participating in the Customer Success program if your organization does not already have a customer success manager.

If you already have an assigned customer success manager, you can work with them to review your organization’s short- and long-term goals directly after implementation and begin crafting the vision for the solutions that will help your organization realize the ROI presented during the sales process. This strategic vision will become the centerpiece that drives changes and expands usage of your enterprise Hyland platform, and Hyland’s customer success managers can provide the tools and guidance necessary to meet your organizations expectations.

Learn more about overcoming the biggest challenge in digital transformation: managing change.


K.C. Van Voorhis brings more than 16 years of healthcare information technology experience to his role as a healthcare customer adviser at Hyland. With and understanding of technical environments, customer software usage, business process optimization, interoperability and meaningful use, K.C. works with customers to provide optimizations around software utilization and support structure setup to enable successful usage and management of the OnBase platform.
K.C. Van Voorhis

K.C. Van Voorhis

K.C. Van Voorhis brings more than 16 years of healthcare information technology experience to his role as a healthcare customer adviser at Hyland. With and understanding of technical environments, customer... read more about: K.C. Van Voorhis