By R. Christopher Haines, President and CEO

What do you expect when you hire someone to help you? Let’s say you’re painting your house. Do you want to stir the paint while the painter paints? Do you expect to do the painting while the painter stands on the ground and gives you instruction or feedback on what you are doing? Probably not. You hired someone to paint your house and he’d better be the one doing the work. And to a certain extent, the outcome is out of your control.

But software implementations are different. If you are using the right implementation partner, the job of the partner is to take the knowledge you have and your desires for how you want the system to work and pull those out of you. The implementation is not something you can just hand over to someone and walk away.

That is why using outside implementation help should not been seen as a threat to you and your staff. You hire outside help because whomever you hire has been through a number of implementations. If they are good at what they do, they should combine that experience with the ability to draw the information out of you and your staff to make sure the system does what you want it to do . This is not a handoff, and you don’t just get to walk away.

At the same time, you should be excited that you have this kind of involvement. It should take away the worry that you are turning something over to someone you could argue knows nothing about how your company does business. It is not the intent of the implementation company to replace you and your staff. It is to collaborate with you, to leverage the knowledge both parties have, to result in a successful implementation. You may want whomever you hire to do a great deal of the work, but you should at least be able to review and approve what they are doing.

If someone shows up and wants to do it only their way – run. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are some very heavy-handed consultants that feel they know how things should be done better than you ever could. But your use of outside system implementation help should be more about your team and their team joining forces to work towards a successful project.