Implementing a Customer Information System (CIS) is crucial for managing customer data. No matter if you are upgrading an existing system or starting fresh, it’s important to make sure you have a solid foundation for your implementation project from the start. Here are a few best practices we recommend to ensure your process is as smooth as possible.

Not all project managers are created equal

A project manager is a critical part of the implementation process, but not just anyone will do. When implementing a CIS, it is important that your project manager have actual experience with utilities – certification alone is not enough. A CIS can involve many different vendors, interfaces, etc. specific to utilities, and it is important to have a project manager who can help you manage and make sense of it all.  This WaterWorld article discusses just how extensive a project manager’s role can be in entire process.

Best practices for CIS implementation

Start from the beginning

It’s not just important who you choose to hire, but when you choose to bring them onto the project. The best time is at the very beginning of the project, when developing your Request for Proposal (RFP). Here, your project manager can help clearly define deliverables, budget, scope and even help staff the internal team who will be responsible for your implementation. The project manager will also be involved in developing the Scope of Work (SOW), helping to negotiate the contract, and using their extensive knowledge to select the appropriate products.

Minimize your risk

Once your project starts, your number one concern should be minimizing risk. Thus, having a knowledgeable project manager can be extremely important. This individual will be on your side to help avoid scope creep and enforce the contract if a deliverable is not properly met. In addition, at Millennium Consulting LLC, we offer a Project Management Toolkit if you choose to use our services, that features trackers, documentation, and more to ensure that your implementation is a success.