GUEST POST: Insights for a successful Qvidian implementation

 

Jul 31, 2015

 

Written by Alan Hull, Morneau Shepell

If your organization is considering the adoption of Qvidian’s Proposal Automation application (and you should), you’re likely anxious to solve some of the internal issues that have brought you to the conclusion you need to improve your content management and/or RFP response processes. This makes total sense, and it is exactly the mentality our organization had as we entered the process as well...excitement and anticipation for how much better things can get. 


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It’s important though to take a moment to consider that your eagerness to harness the value Qvidian can offer may cause you to move too quickly and result in difficulties around training, user adoption, and content management that can significantly delay or even prevent you from realizing the benefits Qvidian can afford your organization.

With that said, here are three questions I suggest you take the time to answer before diving into the implementation project. Your responses can go a long way helping navigate the process and achieve your objectives.

  1.        "What are my desired outcomes from having Qvidian?"

How do you get the most out of what Qvidian can offer your organization? Well, it begins with understanding your current issues and investing the time to learn how Qvidian can address them. For your biggest challenges, take your time, slow things down and make sure you’ve really clarified a new direction for moving forward before you begin to tackle secondary concerns. That may not get stated often enough…formalize and introduce any adjustments to your existing processes for the initial phase of your rollout before proceeding with the rest of the implementation. Allow those processes an opportunity to breathe and see if they are producing the desired outcomes. If not, go back and adjust. Once you feel confident that you have arrived at a solution that will address your biggest concerns, then it becomes time to introduce the additional features of Qvidian. Make sure to follow the same process with rolling out the second phase of your implementation as well.

  1.        "How can Qvidian help me achieve those outcomes specifically?"

This is an important piece to consider because it will help you prioritize where to focus your efforts during the implementation process. My personal recommendation for using Qvidian is a phased rollout that could easily require up to a year to execute.

Many companies begin their relationship with Qvidian around managing projects and storing, organizing and searching content. These solutions have significant value in their own ways and address different problems. I’d suspect most organizations start with the content library, which makes a lot of sense, but be sure to identify your most pressing needs so Qvidian can address them specifically. Once you’ve identified them, place all your focus on succeeding there before adding more areas of focus.

  1.        "How big of a change is this for my team and how much can they handle at a time?"

If your company is migrating from a different content management solution then perhaps the change in providers won’t create a significant disruption, but if your users are new to cloud-based content libraries and RFP response tools then asking them to adapt to both a new way to build their documents AND a new content management system simultaneously can create significant challenges for your end-users.

Consider phasing in the two main tools one at a time (starting with the one that addresses your most pressing needs) and allowing an acclimation period for your users to adjust to the initial changes before rolling out the other components of Qvidian.  This should minimize any issues around user adoption and allow you to develop some experience with the application upon which to base the rest of your decisions. Speaking from experience, I can state it’s likely that your view on how best to leverage the application may be different after six months of using Qvidian and unfortunately, there’s just no way to side-step that initiation period. However, planning for it can not only minimize the issues you encounter, but also help inform your decision making for the remaining phases of the rollout of Qvidian to ensure you are getting the most out of what it has to offer.

Ultimately the entire process can be summarized by saying “Slow it down”. Take the tasks on one at a time and make sure each change you make to your previous processes is producing the desired outcomes before taking on and rolling out the rest of the application.

Qvidian is a wonderful solution and it can provide value to your organization in a number of ways, but it’s a large application that can take time to get to know, particularly for your end-users. Be sure to pace the rollout at a speed that lets them learn and accept each piece of the puzzle before putting it all together. In the long run, you’ll be better off for it.

Alan Hull, Senior Proposal Writer

Alan has worked on Morneau Shepell’s Proposal Team since 2009. His area of specialty is the consulting and administration of pension and benefit plans. Since studying Marketing at the University of Toronto, Alan has amassed over 12 years of experience in proposal writing working for firms across Canada. He also has extensive experience in project management.