Essential questions for

Successful facilities management software deployment

Facilities management

Facilities management (FM) teams implementing new platforms must be informed about software deployment. Following industry best practices lays the foundation for your future success.

A facilities management software deployment is a collaboration between a customer’s FM team and the software owner’s. Here are the questions FM teams need to understand and answer for a successful project.

Why is the deployment so important?

The software deployment is the delivery of your real-world, FM software instance, along with the promised benefits for your FM team. Those benefits include greater efficiency through automation, time- and cost-savings, streamlined workflows, improved reporting, and more accurate budgeting. Your deployment is critical for a few other reasons:

  • Someone in your company, possibly a facilities manager, recommended the purchase of your new FM software. That person’s reputation is on the line until the software starts producing desired results, including “early wins.” The faster the deployment, the faster those early wins.
  • Those unfamiliar with software deployment may see it as a mechanical process, like a series of tasks. That perception changes when scarce resources are suddenly mobilized for the deployment, including personnel, time, money, planning, testing, approvals, and inputs from multiple departments, like accounting, finance, and HR. A deployment is not a simple process. It’s a big deal.
  • Early in the deployment, the software owner’s team announces a Go Live date, signaling the completion of the deployment and the “cut-over” to the customer’s management of their new software instance. That cut-over is closely watched because it represents expectations, needs, reputation, and promises.

Will this software scale as we grow?

Scalability is often a critical factor for facilities management software, especially for growing organizations. A well-designed software should support seamless scaling as your company grows. It should be able to handle additional properties without significant performance issues, handle a growing number of users, and be adaptable through modules or plugins.

To ensure scalability, it’s advisable to discuss these needs upfront with the software provider and inquire about any case studies or references from clients who have scaled their usage over time.

What is the total cost of ownership?

Understanding the detailed cost structure of facilities management software is essential to avoid surprises. Generally, the cost might include initial setup fees, licensing costs (which could be per user or per property), and possibly maintenance and support charges.

Some providers might also have fees for updates, additional modules, or customizations. It’s crucial to request a comprehensive pricing breakdown from the software provider and clarify any potential hidden fees. Additionally, it’s beneficial to estimate total cost of ownership over a period (e.g., 3-5 years) to fully understand the financial commitment.

Does the User Experience and Interface work?

The user experience and interface (UX/UI) of facilities management software are vital for ensuring that different types of users can perform their tasks efficiently. A user-friendly software has an intuitive layout and navigation. It provides a positive experience for both on-site maintenance staff and remote managers.

Ask for a live demo or trial access to the software to verify the UX/UI directly. You can also request usability case studies or customer testimonials. This can provide insights into how real users interact with the software and any potential challenges they face.

Engaging with these resources can help you gauge whether the software will meet your team’s needs effectively.

How long will deployment take?

The duration of your deployment will be a function of the scope and complexity of your FM operations, workflows, software integrations, reporting, service providers and more.

Most customers need to connect their instance to other, internal business-software programs used by their accounting, finance, or HR departments. Custom deployments are often complex, require experts, and lengthen deployment timelines.

For customers with a moderate level of complexity and integrations, a deployment will be about 120 days. For those with large FM operations, distributed footprints, and complex business needs, the deployment timeline would be longer.

How can new customers accelerate deployment?

Refine the scope of your deployment. What is the minimal viable product you need the first day of the cut-over? Can additional features be added later? Reducing scope often results in faster deployments.

Get started now. New customers are asked early in the process to complete a Questionnaires or forms. Completing them quickly speeds up the deployment timeline and the all-important Go Live date.

Appoint an engaged Project Sponsor who is equal parts advocate, cheerleader, promoter, and leader. The Project Sponsor motivates team members, promotes the benefits of the FM software, and keeps the customer team focused on the Go Live date.

How can we get early wins after the deployment is over?

A successful deployment follows a crawl-walk-run strategy. During user acceptance testing, set a goal of creating and dispatching five work orders in your staging environment, so that on cutover day, you can do the same thing with ease and confidence in your real-world, production environment.

How can my team measure and prove success?

Evaluating the success of a facilities management software deployment involves tracking metrics so FMs can determine if it is delivering the expected benefits and improving operational efficiency. Here are some critical metrics to consider:

User Adoption Rate is the percentage of intended users who are actively using the software. High adoption rates indicate that users find the software useful and are comfortable with it. Low adoption rates may signal usability issues or insufficient training.

Issue Resolution Time is the average time taken to resolve maintenance issues. Faster issue resolution times can indicate that the software is effective in identifying, prioritizing, and addressing maintenance problems quickly.

Cost Savings is Reduction in maintenance and operational costs after software deployment. This metric directly measures the financial impact of the software, indicating whether it helps in reducing unnecessary expenses.

Work Order Completion Rate is the percentage of work orders completed within a specified time frame. High completion rates suggest that the software is effective in managing and tracking work orders, leading to timely maintenance and repairs.

User Satisfaction is feedback from users regarding their experience with the software. Satisfied users are more likely to fully utilize the software’s features, leading to better overall performance.

Downtime is the amount of time that critical systems or equipment are out of service. Reduced downtime indicates that the software is effective in both preventive and predictive maintenance strategies.

By regularly monitoring these key metrics, facilities managers can gain a comprehensive understanding of how effectively the software is meeting their operational needs and contributing to their overall goals.