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This Is What Made This IFS Project A Success!

Updated: Jun 3

I recently spent a week in Memphis, TN helping a customer go live, after a year-long IFS implementation project. I have to say, this was one of the smoothest and most efficient go-lives I have ever had the privilege of being part of.

The IFS implementation team arrived on Sunday and spent the week resolving minor issues related to processes, permission sets, and access. Believe it or not, there weren't any major issues! And the customer, Diversified Conveyors International, made some major structural, cultural, and technological changes. On paper, with that much change, it would seem that this implementation could have resulted in disaster, delay, and MAJOR budget overrun. However, we went into go-live week with the confidence that over the past year, we had done our jobs in helping the customer "adopt" IFS.

Now that I am back home and in my office I've had time to reflect. As I look back over the past year, and go-live week, here are the top 3 things I think made this project a screaming success!

Excellent Project Management

From the very start, we decided that this customer needed an excellent project manager. We took over this customer from a previous partner that had run into trouble managing the schedule and budget. Hats off to my good buddy David Hildred.

If you read any of my material you know that I am a big advocate for good project management. A good project manager is someone who advocates on behalf of the team, protects the team from unnecessary internal customer drama, sets expectations, is an excellent communicator, and knows how to motivate, inspire, and unleash IFS professionals to do their jobs.

Assemble The Right Team!

In every project, there is some attrition. Some of it is personality and some of it is talent mismatch. A good project manager understands the customer's needs and assembles a team that can deliver. Let's face it, consulting is 70% know-how and 30% personality. A team member can have great knowledge but if they can't earn the trust of the customer they will fail.

This project had a great team! We all worked together on other projects so knew each other's expertise and knowledge. There was no competition, posturing, or back-biting. Just a lot of mutual care, and comradery.

Building the right team goes for the customer too! DCI quickly identified SMEs who were willing to learn IFS, adopt the new business processes, and disseminate these to their respective business units.

The whole week we were onsite the DCI team handled the training and demonstration of the system. We just answered some questions if they arose. It was refreshing!

A Great Customer Consultant

Customers rarely have the personnel in-house to "quarterback" a large implementation project. Some customers bring in a team of process and change management consultants (in addition to the implementation team) to help manage the project. I will be honest, I have rarely seen this to be successful. Often, it creates competing voices that bog down the process and creates a lot of noise. Instead, I am an advocate of what I call the Customer Advocate Consultant. This is a consultant hired by the customer, to advocate and represent the customer, and be the person between the implementation team and the customer team. They work directly with the implementation project manager.

For this project, we had the privilege of working with Brandon McNeill with Digital Process Group. He was great at managing expectations with the customer, keeping tasks up to date, and pushing both the customer and implementation team when needed. He worked closely with David to manage the budget and schedule to ensure we moved forward. In next month's post, I will sit down with Brandon and talk about the specific approach he takes to deliver solutions.

At one point a project executive said, "See what we can accomplish when we give ourselves enough budget and schedule to do this right?" The previous partner had under-budgeted the project and then started to increase the costs of the project. Instead, David and our team set realistic expectations on what it would cost to implement IFS. We were willing to lose the project by being realistic.

Needless to say, this project was a delight to be part of and certainly something we want to replicate, and you will too!

If you are interested in building out your IFS team take a look at and create a profile. Also, you can always reach out directly at, and let's have a conversation about your IFS talent needs.

Interested in other successful IFS Customer success stories? Check out the IFS Customer Success Blog.

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