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Five Best Practices for SaaS Implementation

1. Zero in on your core need. Put blinders on everything else.

To do SaaS implementation right, follow a simple plan that focuses on the specific processes SaaS will target. Make an inventory and plan with only these solutions in mind, setting aside the “nice-to-haves.” Trying to cram in every nonessential process or functionality only guarantees complexity, delays, scope creep, and added costs—not to mention a possible a team mutiny. Be firm in your project parameters to communicate clear expectations to stakeholders and employees.

2. Embrace change like a long-awaited relative

For many companies, “change management” really means controlled chaos. The second way to a successful SaaS implementation is to help your team welcome, not dread, major change.

To do that, detail the steps and behaviors for success that everyone needs to practice and provide a simple communication channel and documentation process. Be sure business stakeholders and implementation teams have approval criteria and provide transparent updates on progress, setbacks, staffing news, and next steps to head off misinformation or rumors.

3. Empower a team of heroes

The third critical factor to successful SaaS implementation is to give the right people decision-making power. After all, nothing kills project momentum faster than a strict top-down chain of command where decision cycles exceed work hours. This particular pain point not only wastes time, it reinforces this inefficient vertical power structure.

Instead, make it clear to your SaaS implementation team that they’re trusted and empowered—even expected—to make decisions when decisiveness matters.

4. Connect the company through a common language

Engage with and align every team involved before starting your SaaS implementation. It’s not enough to send a company-wide memo. A major SaaS undertaking can potentially involve every department and person, so it’s critical to actively seek and understand what each group needs for strong cross-department partnerships.

5. Plan and rehearse your go-live support. Repeat.

The final step of successful SaaS implementation is being 100 percent “ready for action” at its launch. One of the biggest mistakes of any SaaS implementation plan is not anticipating or planning for the full range of potential pitfalls during the go-live event.

Followed closely, these five SaaS implementation steps will help you emerge successfully with a strong team, productive new technology, and satisfied users and stakeholders.


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