CMMS Installation: Lessons Learned
The department's successful implementation of its new CMMS occurred in large part because the team had a clear idea of the process going in, but it reinforced several key lessons, Gumeringer says. They include:
- Ensure the project's scope of work is clear for both the vendor and the hospital's procurement executives.
- Define all reports the system must provide, and include these requirements in the scope of work.
- Clearly define work flows and test procedures for verification of functionality.
- Require the vendor to use only one project manager during the implementation. Do not allow the vendor to change managers.
Finally, Gumeringer advises managers to avoid a potentially damaging trap: Do not implement a CMMS because of a project date set at the beginning of the process. Instead, implement the system when all milestones are complete, and delay the implementation if necessary. He advises managers to view this phase of the process, in particular, as a collaboration between support services and IS.
"IS often is moving toward a project completion data, and plant maintenance wants the implementation to be 100 percent complete when it's turned over," he says. In Gumeringer's case, the department had to push back against pressure to accept the new CMMS, even though it was not fully implemented.
"We ended up being in conflict," he says. "We had to have the courage to push back, to not accept the system until it was complete. It required courage and effort on our part."
The parties successfully resolved their differences, offering further proof that teamwork and clear communication are perhaps the most important components of a project of this size and importance.