Top 5 Questions You Must Ask Before Purchasing a New System

Implementing a new system can be both an exciting and challenging time for an organization. On the one hand, it's an opportunity to leverage innovative new processes or capture comprehensive information that is critical to the organization. However, there is also a great risk for missing the opportunities when the wrong purchasing or strategy decision is made. When this happens to healthcare and social services organizations, the cost could be a person's life. In either case, your reputation could be in jeopardy without a solid strategy.

Protect Your Reputation By Working With The Right Technology Partner

The technology company you hire should not take these risks lightly. Instead, they should provide coaching and consulting, bringing to light the risks and impacts you haven't yet considered.

To get a clearer picture of their experience, we think you should ask these 5 questions that reveal some of the hidden areas of software project management.

1. How can your system help us meet our timeliness requirements?

A new system should automate whatever could be automated and streamline your processes to drive the organization to compliance. It should give you insight into where a timeline might fall apart before it happens.

2. How will we really know what we are getting?

Some vendors promise the sun, moon, and stars during the contracting process, then they slowly work their way out of the commitments during the implementation. By the time the implementation is completed, you won’t realize how many broken promises you have since it was done slowly over time. Check your vendor’s reputation for breaking commitments before you hire the vendor. You might be surprised to find that some of the biggest names have some of the worst reputations. Then, when you make a choice, be sure to use the commitments for a framework in monitoring status. Keep them up front and visible during status checks.

3. If you were the one paying for an implementation like this, what would keep you up at night, knowing what you know about software projects?

This is a straightforward question. It will throw the wrong technology partner off guard. The right technology partner will be candid about the risks and challenges of the implementation.

4. Will this system add steps to our workflow, or reduce them?

Inflexible system design leads to continual workaround. The wrong technology partner will immediately tell you that they will improve your workflow, but the right technology partner will answer with, "it depends". Then, they will work with you to evaluate your process and eliminate redundancy with automation, without doubling the price of the project.

5. Knowing what you know about software projects, if you were me, what about this project would keep you up at night?

Good question. The wrong technology partner will smile and say nothing. The right technology partner will have concerns and suggestions.