Lessons Learned

At Visma, we work systematically across the whole organization to learn from both happy and unhappy customers.

When starting a new project it is always a good thing to become a bit retrospective. It is from the lessons learned that we can move forward and, at the very least, refrain from repeating the same mistakes. Might not exactly sound like rocket science, but what people often mistake for common sense is actually deeply rooted in past experiences and the benefit of hindsight.

Retrospective Perspective

In my previous project I was tasked with implementing an HR system in a Swedish Visma organization. Introducing new things more often than not corresponds with resistance to change. I expected this and my expectations were fulfilled. What I did not expect, however, was the influence of my own perspective. As the project was an internal one, I did not properly take into account the perspective of the people this HR system would in the end effectively affect. I thought (or perhaps wanted to believe) the system to be as good an HR system as you could get, and to some extent I presupposed that the users would think the same.

The Selling Point

Misunderstand me correctly (as we say in Swedish). The HR system was not substandard (and the project was a success), but it goes without saying that an IT system cannot fulfil every possible need of every possible organization. In this case, some functionality was not a perfect match with the organization’s work processes. And had I left my own presuppositions at home, I would have spent more time on trying to “sell” the system to the users, which is what I really learned from this project. No matter what you do, there is a high probability that you must sell your project in some respect or another. So, take all perspectives into account, make up your mind, and sharpen your wit and arguments – and hopefully this will result in a project with the best possible outcome.