Implementing risk management software: Discover eight tips for a successful roll-out from Babcock

With a large number of projects and programmes on the go, varying in size from £2-24M, Babcock Network Engineering opted to implement the Predict! suite of risk management software, as their existing Excel-based risk management system was no longer working for them.

The results were impressive, with a 2% increase in margin achieved in less than a year. In this article, Paul Pring, Director, Infrastructure (Rail) at Babcock InteRisk management softwarernational’s Network Engineering Business Unit shares his tips for a successful roll-out.

‘I spent the past year embedding Predict! into my organisation. It hasn’t always been plain sailing, but I’m delighted to report that the results are plain to see, and we’re now rolling out Predict! across the organisation.The main thing to bear in mind with a roll-out is that success depends on a combination of knowledge, hearts and minds. If you do your research and take a common sense approach to adjust along the way to get the balance right on all three, you’re on your way to roll-out success.’

Here’s a few top tips:

1. Study the available software and work out the best software for your organisation’s needs and culture. We decided on Predict! after an extensive study of several competitors. Predict! offers the functionality and flexibility we need as a project-based organisation, now and in the future, and Risk Decisions offers the knowledge, expertise and customer service we require as our risk management maturity increases.

2. Engage with the supplier and plan the installation, testing and training programmes carefully. Don’t forget to ensure any IS professionals are on-side and bought into the success factors – their understanding and cooperation is critical. Make sure you have a dedicated point of contact in IS.

3. Understand what works best for your organisation. All organisations are different and there are no right or wrong answers. Often, people in an organisation will react to different methods of learning depending on their way of operating. Be careful to study and understand the learning styles for those being trained, and share this information with your supplier.

4. Secure commitment from the top. It’s not enough just to install new software and let people find their way. Any major roll-out needs commitment from the top of the organisation. Committed leadership, prepared to get stuck in is a critical success factor. My advice is to appoint a Board Director as the sponsor.

5. Drive compliance with the new way of operating through the reporting, reviewing and approving processes. I’m a big fan of Predict!’s email reminder and user reporting functions. Are people not logging on as often as they should? Speak to them about it to ensure everyone establishes the right habits.

6. Don’t try to do it all at once and make sure the timing is right. Are the departments involved already involved in several new initiatives? Initiative overload can damage your chances of success. Start small, preferably in an area you have influence over, demonstrate the benefits and share the success with your peer group – then go viral!

7. Communicate widely and clearly, set procedures and audit for best results. Track improvements to KPI’s – it needs to add benefits to be attractive to the business. Choose a series of super users who represent all areas of the business and are keen to drive the process with you to reinforce this.

8. And finally, remember: Knowledge + Hearts + Minds = Success. You need all three for a successful software rollout.

Paul Pring was Director, Infrastructure (Rail) at Babcock International’s Network Engineering Business Unit. He was responsible for approximately £100m of business through four main areas of business – Design & Consultancy, Telecommunications, Signalling and Overhead Line Electrification (via ABC JV)