Four steps to success on a new install
Selecting a transit solution such as passenger counting or GPS tracking is in many ways just the first step of a larger process. Frankly, the best solution in the world will be worthless if the rights steps aren’t taken on the front-end to ensure a proper implementation. A detailed and methodical project management approach is paramount to success. And, while project management may not be the most exciting part of the project, it’s arguably the most important.
Here are four steps to success:
1. Identify objectives
Think back to the start of the process. What are you trying to accomplish and why did you select this particular solution? How does it support your overall business goals? It’s not enough to say you need to count passengers. Are you trying to make an argument for more funding, for service changes or something else entirely? There is no right or wrong answer. Just keep in mind there will be a lot of opportunities for discussion during the installation, and you need to make sure you don’t lose sight of what brought you here in the first place.
2. Know (and involve) the stakeholders
Not everyone in the department needs to be involved in the implementation. If too many are involved, the process can easily turn into decision by committee which will only slow down implementation. So in advance, decide who needs to be involved. Know whose opinion matters the most and must be solicited. Then, involve those stakeholders at key moments. Plus, when it comes to hardware and software installation, it’s important to involve the experts — think who will be managing the transit technology, who will need to be on hand to troubleshoot issues, and even involve your IT department for software installations or app integrations — early and often.
3. Build a step-by-step plan with a timeline
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your new solution won’t be either. Set deadlines and hold those involved in the project accountable. Be sure to be realistic about what can be done and how long it will likely take. Being transparent will make the process from beginning to end smoother. It’s alright if deadlines are missed, but be sure to build in contingencies for when that happens so the overall project isn’t delayed. Testing is critical – make sure each phase is tested in real world conditions, even pushing the system to the limit. If the toughest scenarios are reviewed and have a successful outcome, you can be very confident that the solution is ready for everyday use.
4. Train. Train. Train.
Congratulations, your new system is in place! Now, it’s time to train the team members who will use and benefit from it. After all, you’ll be relying on them to ensure success. As a part of that process, be sure to let them know how this new system will benefit them and make their jobs easier. Making everyone feel like they are a part of the process increases the likelihood of full adoption.