Have you ever wondered why software implementation fails? Have you ever been afraid of buying a travel software because of the possibility it might not work, having spent your money on nothing at the end? One of the main problems tour operators have is spending large sum of money on travel software that fails to implement in their business routine. The implementation of a travel software requires extensive preparation of the entire organization, and what companies usually miss out are obstacles that come from the human factor (not only the technology itself). Here are the reasons why these projects can fail:
1. Weak support and organization coming from the Management
The successful implementation of a travel software begins and ends at the “top”. The company simply cannot succeed without the full engagement of the management. Without participation of the management, the employees can lack interest and the total investment can be brought into question.
2. Improperly defined goals of the project
One big mistake you can make is to force the introduction of the new technology throughout the entire organization without giving employees time to accept it. If goals are not defined properly, your employees will put in less effort, and the implementation itself will not go as planned or give the desired results. Goals have to be SMART.
3. Poor research of travel software and not knowing what it’s all about
Management must invest the time in finding the best solution for their business process and make an effort to study different software systems to make sure that the right decision is made. Management also needs to be aware of problems that can arise on the way and prepare by reading different materials (articles, blog posts, news portals) in order to introduce the system to employees.
4. Buying a system that isn’t good for your business process
Poor selection of travel software that does not fit the organization’s requirements can cost you 10 times more. Most common reasons why this can happen:
a) Management is trying to get the system at the lowest price possible. Often, they don’t see how important it is that the software solves exact problems or issues.
b) Management does not know what they need and are basing their decisions on what they see on random web sites where they read about some cheaper software.
c) Management is in a hurry to buy the first piece of software they found on the internet, without taking detailed specifications, features, pricing, software options, implementation quality, etc. into account.
d) Management doesn’t include employees in the process of selecting a travel software solution, not understanding the issues which employees face every day and not understanding their routines.
5. Lack of involving employees and not defining project manager
Employees that are involved in daily operations provide important insights into critical operational factors of success. Involving only top management prevents the flow of information, while engaging employees enables them to get acquainted with processes, work responsibilities and organizational activities. Also, not defining project manager responsible for communication with the software team is a huge problem that often ends up in failure.
6. Poor information flow and communication
Lack of communication and information sharing among all employees regarding changes that directly affect them is very bad. The focus has to be on the interaction (communication) of all parties involved. If communication fails, there will be a lack of understanding of the implementation itself, lack of understanding the system, lack of realizing the benefits of the system, etc.
7. Unrealistic expectations from your employees and the system itself
Unrealistic expectations from the implementation appear when the responsible project manager is not involved in the actual implementation. The lack of involvement results in incomprehension, unrealistic deadlines, demotivation of employees, etc. Give your implementator time to adjust all changes wanted and let them speak to developers without rushing them with questions like „Is it ready yet?“ or „Are you finished, do it ASAP!“. Asking for too many customizations right away can postpone the project deadline and cost even more.
8. Not following the timeline plan or insisting on your own timeline plan
Finding excuses to miss out on meetings, not sending needed documents and information, not responding emails or having huge gaps between trainings is a very critically bad idea! Implementation team is here to help you, and they make a lot of effort to make your project work as soon as possible (this is something they do for a living). So listen what they have to say. There is a reason why an implementator gives you a timeline plan with dates of trainings. The implementator divides the trainings depending on the modules you bought, complexity of the system and your business processes. Don’t try to change the plan because you think that you want to sell something tomorrow. If you don’t manage fundamentals, you will see consequences later and waste time figuring out why.
9. Missing out on trainings or not having trainings
Forcing employees to stay late in the office and listen carefully during training meetings is a questionable idea, just like not coming to training sessions. Employees are often tired and your company’s reorganization is important. Plan your trainings with the implementator and listen to his advices. Be careful that the software vendor company offers proper trainings, because without trainings – nobody will know how to efficiently use the system.
10. Not taking the time to upload data
Uploading 100 hotels is not an easy job, we know. But prolonging this is making it even worse. When buying a travel system, you need to be ready and prepared to take the time to upload the products. You are not going to do it every day, afterwords you will only change the commissions or prices. When you don’t follow a timeline plan, your employees will forget what they learned on the trainings and you’ll need to pay for the trainings once again!