We have all heard the cliché – It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon! And with the Olympic Games just around the corner that is precisely how the athletes view their preparation. There are many key elements to successful preparation, both physically and mentally, with many athletes starting their preparation several years in advance of their event.
“Going for Gold Preparation”
An athlete will never leave any stone unturned and will look for inspiration in many different guises in order to reach their full potential and the chance of winning gold!
In Business, we perhaps don’t always have quite the same time frames when it comes to preparing for a major project or implementation – time is money after all! But as a business about to embark on a new project or software implementation, we can take valuable lessons from these super fit, mentally rich athletes.
No two athletes are the same and no two will train in quite the same way. Each sports person will have a strategy and plan leading right up to the Olympics and beyond, it won’t finish on the starting line.
Implementing a new ERP or Business System requires preparation by clearly defining business processes and requirements. By defining the long term strategy, goals and objectives, these will help define your Critical Success factors.
Athletes have one goal and that is to be the best they can and to bring home that Gold medal. Through discipline and devotion, they work hard, train hard and believe that they can achieve that goal. Some experts suggest that visualising the end result, e.g. lifting up the trophy, or standing on the podium, can in fact give you a positive advantage over your competition.
In business, goals should be just as positive, realistic and certainly obtainable. Those goals should outline the basis of the project, what the business is looking to achieve and how those benefits can be measured.
Just as an athlete would surround themselves with the best coach, sports psychologists, specialist nutritionists and trainers, all experts in their fields; it too is essential to surround yourself with a team you can depend on and who possess the skills needed to deliver the project through to a successful conclusion.
This is where an athlete wins hands down! They have spent years training, devising plans, learning new skills and defining the most efficient way to achieve their body’s potential.
Yet in business, training is often overlooked or left to the last minute, if planned at all. As a fundamental element to the successful implementation of your new business system, the training should be clearly defined and well managed.
Athletes will put themselves under extreme pressure in the lead up to major events, pushing their bodies to limits way beyond what they will experience during the event itself, so that they are mentally prepared for any eventuality.
The lead up to a major event or Go-live in business has to be a smooth process and the only way this can be assured, is to test, test and test some more. It is better to be prepared for all eventualities than to fail on an un-tested part of the system, database error or Integration malfunction.
Post Event Support
Even after the final whistle has been blown, the athlete’s support team and external experts will evaluate and manage data collected throughout the event, to further optimise future training and development.
Continually monitoring the systems performance and data integrity can lead to faster performance, and fewer system outages, therefore, a business system that is out of date or not achieving its full potential can be costly to your business, not to mention the effect of troubleshooting and performance issues.
About Embridge Consulting
Established as an independent business systems consultancy, Embridge has grown rapidly into an established Systems Integrator and in 2015 were selected by Unit4 as the first local Systems Integrator partner for the UK and Ireland.
Our two UK based operations supported by a 30+ strong team, service users Worldwide. Developing services and solutions at a global level, with further international expansion expected, places Embridge as one of the market leader’s in their field of expertise.