Implementing or changing a program sets the stage for success or failure. Having an implementation go well benefits the organization, the engagement managers and the program’s future operating success/adoption.

On the other hand, an unsuccessful implementation can have far-reaching effects. These include setting the program back months or years or the people involved finding themselves looking for a new opportunity. So leaving a launch to chance is truly professional negligence.

With so much at stake, it helps to have advice from those who have gone through the process. Staffing Industry Analysts continually conducts surveys of CW program managers, asking them for advice on multiple CW program management issues and trends. A recent survey on implementing changes in their programs suggested those who achieved the best results followed a few basic core principles:

  • Conduct thorough pre-program/initiative research, such as reviewing problems, issues and challenges.
  • Identify your key stakeholders, internal partners and secure effective champions.
  • Understand managed service provider (MSP) or vendor management system (VMS) options and capabilities; leverage automation.
  • Create processes to guide program use and drive program adoption.

Whether implementing a new CW program, switching to a different MSP or new VMS solution, or changing/adding sourcing models, you obviously must have a plan to prepare your organization for the change and new program/policy adoption. It is also important to establish clear initiative objectives — goals that align with company objectives, your overall program business case, and just as critical, your program stakeholders’ needs/requirements.

Staffing Industry Analysts has established an optimization roadmap that includes multiple activity guides that support the best practices practitioners mentioned above. These support activities (where and when applicable) are a good starting point for charting a strategy for making changes in your program. These support activities focus on the following CW Program implementation fundamentals:

  • Structure Implementation Plan
  • Establish Policies & Business Rules
  • Determine Ongoing Roles & Responsibilities
  • Configure IT Infrastructure
  • Set Up Supply Chain
  • Launch Program

Finally, when all is said and done, communicate, communicate and then communicate more.  Change management is truly the foster child of implementation practices.  But it is one of the most critical practices for adoption rate performance and your program’s service brand. This communication will take multiple forms from pronouncements; policies/program rules; to training. But neglected change management can poison all the other well-intentioned, implementation efforts.

Implementation best practices are just a few of the CW program management issues reviewed in SIA’s CCWP certification program, where managers review strategies for implementing change and driving adoption in their CW programs. It also includes several hands-on activities that enable the CCWP certification candidates to actively consider implementation best practices and program adoption strategies.

These principles are not just for use in new-program development. They can and should be applied to any change initiative to help drive overall program adoption. Remember, every change event is an opportunity to refocus program clients on the benefits that are being derived by participating in the program.