Being an effective Implementation Consultant

Implementation Consulting is job profile that is often considered to be an add on to the basic product, just like one has luxury to spend on after spending on basic needs. But in my experience in the role of an Implementation Consultant, I strongly think that is a must have for any organization that owns a product. The reason is simple : Your product has 1000+ ways in which it can maximize client revenues or meet their business requirements, just that they need to figure the right way to use it. This is where we, Implementation Consultants come into picture. Here are some entities that an implementation consultant needs to focus on :

implementation

1.  PRODUCT / SYSTEM KNOWLEDGE :
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The very first things that an implementation Consultant needs to do is get complete information about the product. With complete information, I mean a thorough training about
  • What the product can do
  • What it cannot do
  • What it can but should not do!

We can figure the best way an implementation works out for a client only if we know our system in and out. We need to have hands on experience with “SELF TESTED” use cases so that we can give a thorough setup solution to the client. So, before we dive into the actual role, just turn to be a geek for a month or so and get to trained on the system/product.

2.  PRESENTATION SKILLS :

This is the most important quality of an Implementation Consultant. We need to have excellent presentation skills. As we deal with Corporates and top level executives everyday, we have to be on top of the game when it comes to giving presentations. No matter how good the product is, the client will not dig in if we cannot explain it to him effectively. So, the ability to grasp people’s attention is a must here. An effective presenter will definitely create that “trust factor” in the client’s mind and this will in turn, make them believe in our product / system.

3.  RESEARCH AND BUSINESS ANALYSIS :

An Implementation Consultant has two more profiles that are a part of this job description by default – Being a Business Analyst and Researcher. We need to be up to date with the business norms and the new strategies to get the best for our clients. We need to understand the business process layout of the client so that it is easy for them to use the system in a dynamic worksphere. Considering all the entities that would affect their requirements from a futuristic point of view is a must so that our implementation is aligned accordingly. So, to be an Implementation Consultant, we HAVE TO love research, market study and business analysis.

4.  BACKGROUND STUDY :

Before we get to actual implementation, it is very important to have some background research done on the client organization, requirements and the people involved. At times, we have some clients who do not have much of a technical know-how in terms of software, or there are certain sides of the organization that could also benefit through one of the features in our system and so on. We can catch these things if we make a thorough background study. This helps us optimize our implementation process and also helps the client side gain the most out of our system.

5.  PEOPLE MANAGEMENT :

With people management, I am referring to Account management, Customer service, Support and general client relationship. An Implementation Consultant has to be a people’s person. Should love to talk a lot and maintain client relationships. In my experience, I have seem that most of the business comes from existing clients. So, we have to be very careful with our clients as they are the key to another 25+ clients (on an average). This is a characteistic, which I think, should come naturally. If you enjoy talking to people, you are going to enjoy this role and thus, have a higher productivity at work!

These are, in my opinion, the 5 must haves of an Implementation Consultant. If you have anything to add on or any other suggestions, feel free to drop a comment.

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