What to Focus on During your Fund Management Software Implementation

By Jill Montera

You’ve decided on a fund management software provider, put months of research into it, and you’ve got the software implemented. But at this point there’s no guarantee of success even if you’ve done everything right up to this point. The first couple of months that you’re using a new system are probably the most daunting but also probably the most important time to take measures to ensure your software investment is a success. A few thoughts on making the first few months a success:

Keep it simple and complete

First, make sure that the fields you decide to track and the data within those fields are simple and complete. Sometimes people try to overdo it and add way too many fields–perhaps even data that they haven’t tracked in the past but that they want to track in the future. This might be a natural reaction to having a shiny new database toy, but it’s unlikely that these 50 new fields are the core fields that you really need to track, nor are they usually the data you’ve been tracking to make yourself successful up to this point.

The result of over-adding fields, then, is twofold. First, pages with too many fields end up looking really blank so users get frustrated working in a database that feels incomplete. Second, many of the reports and analytics that you might be able to run based on comprehensive data are not available so when users go to run those reports the reports are essentially meaningless. Also very frustrating.

So the key is to keep the initial configuration simple, focus on the core fields and the core data points you want to track, and make sure that all of those fields are populated. Then when users log in for the first few times, the data is strong and it instills confidence in all of your users.

Provide the “why”

So often, users end up getting just the technical how-to training but they never are told why this is important or how it will make the firm more efficient. So its really important both during training and implementation to talk to users about why changes are being made and what value the company is hoping to get from the system.

Unfortunately the seemingly menial task of entering good data happens first and often over time. Its only after that data is in the system that you get the gratification of finally running that one perfect report that tells you everything you never knew.

If users are shown the value of running a report like that and the value of inputting that data up front, they’re more likely to see the benefits and more likely to be dedicated users.

 Stay tuned for next week when Jill blogs about the other two important facets of implementation: relating the system back to business processes and focusing on the first two weeks.

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