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This article explores four core considerations that will help customers prepare effectively prior to the start of an inriver implementation. The focus of this article is not technical, instead it considers how to prepare for the business change that implementing inriver will require.
The four "P's"
There are four aspects of business change that should be considered & analysed when preparing for implementation of any new solution, especially something as transformational as inriver:
All businesses are impacted by these four aspects when implementing any solution. Taking time to understand the value of each of these areas and analysing them effectively is time well spent and will help fast track the discovery of your inriver implementation.
Business customers should be clear on the reasons why they are implementing a PIM. Without a vision of what your business is trying to achieve, measuring success and configuring inriver will become 'tricky' at best! When considering the purpose of inriver in your business you could:
- Sponsor Brief - ask the project sponsor for their top line view and summary of what they hope to achieve and expect inriver to deliver
- Write a press release that you imagine explains, in one paragraph, what your business hopes to achieve with inriver. You don't have to publish it, but it will focus minds and form a "mission statement" for the project. Stakeholders can then rally behind this throughout the implementation phases
Essentially, even for Agile teams that value pace over paperwork, documenting the true purpose of inriver in your business will not be something you regret taking the time to do.
The good news is that if you have chosen inriver, you at least know what platform (solution) you are going to be using! However, understanding how it fits into your enterprise structure at a strategic level prior to project kick off is invaluable. Consider:
- Will PIM be the "Master" of all product and item data?
- What do we mean by "Product" and "Item" data?
- Where do you hold this data currently? How is it created and mastered?
- What systems will "push" or "pull" information from inriver?
Obviously, inriver's Partners will help you plan and implement the detail but considering (and deciding on) the solutions to these questions at a high-level will provide the foundation for all of the work your team will complete designing the Elastic Data Model.
Always master a data attribute in one system within an organisation's architecture. This ensures data integrity and synchronicity across the organisation's systems.
Using a different approach in a design is not supported.
Every business leader knows that people are at the heart of any organisation and the cornerstone of its success. Its therefore valuable to consider the following when preparing to implement inriver:
- Who are your actors/stakeholders (those directly involved, and those teams indirectly involved)?
- Who will be directly affected by (and therefore wish to influence) the implementation of inriver?
- How will you effectively engage the business community with the role out of inriver?
- What tactics will you employ to ensure full adoption of inriver throughout all phases of implementations?
Obviously, there is a lot one can consider regarding managing change and supporting teams to embrace it. It's wise to discuss these with your current (or future) partner and inriver's Expert Services team are also available to advise.
Inriver's workflow features are some of its unique propositions and are at the heart of ensuring data is accurate and moves effortless through the business channels consuming that data. In many ways, this is where customers risk underestimating the value of defining current business processes and building a practical vision of the future processes post inriver implementation. Consider:
- Do you have a well-documented understanding of existing business processes (sometimes referred to as "as-is workflows") that will be affected by introducing inriver?
- Furthermore, have you drafted workflows for how you imagine these processes will change when inriver has been implemented (sometimes referred to as "to-be workflows")?
- Is there a clear view of the roles and responsibilities involved in either the "as-is" or "to-be" processes (often referred to as RASCI mapping)?
This is some of the most valuable preparation you can complete. Its time well invested and will be essential to a smooth implementation of inriver.
And finally, data
Data: the essential enabler of any inriver implementation. By understanding the Purpose, Platform, People and Processes involved before commencing an inriver implementation, you will understand the wide range of data points required to build an Elastic Data Model that fits the business requirements.
Each attribute should have a Business Owner identified. This role is responsible for data accuracy. This prevents bloating and inefficient design of inriver elastic data model.
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