3 Important Decisions for Successful Farm Management Software Implementations
Over the last six years, large-scale farms became one of our major customer segments, as the complexity of their operations and risk they need to handle are the highest, writes Matija Zulj at PrecisionAg. Experiences we gathered through our work with large-scale farms from 2,000 hectares to more than 50,000 hectares enabled us to identify patterns that strongly influence farm management software (FMS) implementations and can determine its success. In this article, I will try to share three decisions that need to be made and that influence the success of FMS implementations.
Decision #1: Strong Sponsorship vs. Trying Out
Deciding for an implementation of a farm management software on a big-scale farm is a decision that will determine the software support for total farm operations for at least the next 5-10 years. Such a big decision deserves the right attention of the management board and/or farm owners, depending on the level of their involvement in the decision-making process. We have witnessed strong project kick-offs and high-quality project steering where the management board provided strong and dedicated project sponsorship as a sign for all employees that the farm management software plays an important role for their business and providing clear and strong messages resulted in much faster and smoother adoption of the software by all employees.
We also experienced some projects where management decided to implement a farm management software with a good will to follow the trends of digital transformation but had a soft approach in communication to their employees like “Let’s try it and we’ll see how it will go, whether it will be useful for us”. If a manager/owner is not fully convinced that farm management software will serve as a backbone of farm operations and deliver important insights, there will be a very few employees in the company that will think different and engage efforts needed to adopt the software as a daily operations tool. Even if a manager is fully convinced in the value proposition and benefits, but follows a soft approach, employees on a farm very often don’t want to change way of working if they don’t need to and the “Let’s try” approach opens the space for excuses. Such soft approaches often lead to project failure and represent a bad management decision.