Through our history of successful implementations at Coupa and the decades of experience of our implementation teams, we have put together these tips to a successful implementation.
1. Executive Leadership
When undertaking a change in your organization whether it be implementing Coupa or another solution is another area of your company, it’s important to consistently engage executives. By regularly updating executives of the project status and the executives communicating to the large organization, they can be better prepared to help you navigate obstacles.
2. Focus on Success
Often times, people lose focus of the end goal on the project and get caught up in the details. Typically the goal of a Coupa project is to save money, and a lot of it! At the start of the project, your Coupa project manager will help you define success. After you do this, paste that to your desk and consistently remind yourself, and everyone involved with the project, of that success criteria. In this way, you can focus your decisions and resources on things that help you achieve your success criteria. When you're getting bogged down in the details, ask "How is this helping us achieve our success criteria of saving money?"
3. Communication and Change Management
Communication throughout the project team is essential, but it’s important to think beyond such communication. Be very careful about what does and does not get communicated to the larger organization—beyond the project team. Be sure to control this messaging and be sure that you, as the core project team, are communicating a consistent, positive message. Also look at different mechanisms of change management - don't rely solely on email and informal methods of change management. Meet impacted teams face to face to explain how their day to day lives will change and how that will tie into the Success Criteria for the project. Get people excited and utilize things like small gift cards and free food, to build change champions that will make your job easier.
4. Become a Coupa Expert
This is perhaps the most ignored. During your implementation, make sure the core project team spends time in Coupa—creating requisitions, invoices, etc. This will help you do a regular reality check on how you've configured the system. It also helps you build expertise to answer questions when folks ask you questions about Coupa. The system is very powerful, but like all great technologies, if you don't spend the time to learn the power of what it has to offer, you will be left behind compared to your peers.
5. Follow Best Practices - Your Organization is not that Different!
In every implementation the client starts off by stating that their business process is different and more complicated than all other companies. While this may be true in certain cases, at the end of the day you are still buying something and paying someone for what you bought. We have designed and built a solution that encompasses best practices for all different types of purchases. The beauty of SaaS/Cloud is that you are leveraging a platform that thousands and thousands of users are using on a daily basis for all their different procurement needs. Keep that in mind as you review business process and make decisions, since the business world is changing towards simplicity wherever possible—especially in the procurement area. Let Coupa help you become more efficient and help you start saving millions of dollars. The quickest way to achieve success is to understand that "your organization is not that different!"