In the last couple of years Airlines face increasingly the need to get a new state-of-the-art MRO software. This is due to the new generation of aircraft which require more up-to-date MRO software capabilities and the organisational need to operate as efficient as possible and as cost-efficient as possible. After taking the decision which MRO software is the chosen one, the implementation process should start as soon as possible.
"The implementation of a new MRO software system is a complex project. It’s not only about the implementation of the IT system but also about the maintenance process improvement. A whole business transformation is involved", Sander de Bree, CEO
Today, we would like to outline some best practices:
#1: Start with the end in mind
As it is a complex process you need to stay focus on the final objectives and goals itself. It’s all too easy for the people involved to get submerged in the detail of things leading to delays in implementation and exceedance of budget costs. Being clear on the final objectives at all times allows you to keep driving things forward.
#2: Have a proper solution design phase
Implementing an MRO software is not just about getting the system itself up and running. It’s about transforming the business to a certain model of running its affairs. This means that it has to be clear for all stakeholders involved how the organization will look like and run its daily affairs once the new system is in place. This covers both processes, organizational structure, job roles & responsibilities, resources, reporting needs, interfacing needs and data availability.
#3: Set up strong project governance structure
Having strong programme governance ensures timely delivery of the overall project according to budget and expected solution design. In addition, it provides a mechanism for escalation and managing change during the implementation process. It’s about setting the right governance structure that fits your project and company size. Too large of a structure will slow your project down, too small of a structure will make it derail.
#4: Setting up a detailed project plan
Before getting started with your implementation layout a detailed project plan with all applicable work streams, and associated task so that everyone involved in the project know what is expected, when and what is required to complete their work and how they fit into the larger picture.
#5: Resources, resources, resources
Making a proper resources estimate at the start of a project and fill these resources accordingly. Vital is to make sure that any resources taken from operations are properly back-filled for the duration of the project to avoid attention of key members to be drawn back into daily operational activities. Never settle for those resources that are “easily” given, it is the people that are needed most during daily work that you require for the MRO software implementation.
#6: Realise it’s about business transformation and not just about the implementation of the MRO software
This could be the most important point: as mentioned earlier implementing a new MRO software is not about getting the system started, connected and ready for use, it’s by far more than an IT system implementation. It is about getting organization transformed into a new way of doing things.
#7: Communication towards the organisation
Last but not least, your organisation itself is the internal customer of the project, this means keeping them updated with what the project is going to deliver and keep and open dialogue to make sure that the ‘customers’ requirements are adequately captured.