Introducing a new software that will be used by multiple members of your organization can be tough, but also necessary for the continued growth of your company. As such, you’re likely going to hit roadblocks along the way. Not to worry though, the following 7 tips are both proactive and reactive tactics to overcome any hurdles that come up.
1. Involve All Stakeholders in the Buying Process
Even if you don’t need a sign-off from the other stakeholders in the company, involve them in the buying process before you make a purchasing decision. These stakeholders likely have unique opinions or a unique perspective that you didn’t account for. More importantly, if these individuals are going to be involved in the regular use of the software, involve them in the testing/trial phase. Collect all feedback, and, if applicable, involve it in your purchasing decision. Understanding the needs of others early is crucial for the success of a new software rollout.
Appoint a member of the organization as a champion during the implementation of the new software. If possible, the champion should be someone other than the one making the purchasing decision to ensure they are unbiased. Also, make sure champions receive as much training as possible and have access to all resources. The champion should be the go-to within the organization for all questions, comments and concerns for the new software. Depending on the size of your organization, and the team utilizing this new software, you may have to appoint multiple champions. If this decision involves multiple departments, have at least one champion from each department (for larger departments, involve multiple champions).
3. Take Advantage of Free Training/Onboarding
Most software companies have free training/onboarding programs that they offer to new clients. If these are available, take advantage of them! Better yet, invite the entire team that will be using the software to join in. There’s nothing like a training session from the experts that know the software best. At Visitor Queue, we have initiatives in place to encourage companies to book demos and onboarding calls to help with organizational adoption. We have found these calls lead to better adoption of our software, more frequent use and overall client happiness.
4. Don’t Set and Forget – Measure
It’s important with any software implementation to set goals and measure them. These goals will change based on the software you are implementing, but it is crucial to set them to understand what success looks like. Additionally, look to gather regular feedback from end users to see how things are going with the implementation. Lastly, report on the results to the company/key stakeholders to hold yourself accountable for the software.
5. If You’re Replacing Software, Set a Hard Deadline
People hate change. I’ve seen it before where members of the team, or the entire team, will go back to using the old software because they are more comfortable with it. If you’re replacing an existing software in a company, you need to force the team to make the change. Set a hard deadline for when an old software will be taken offline and the team won’t be able to use it anymore.
6. If Applicable, Integrate It with Your Existing Tools
The more you make the new software easily flow with existing tools and practices, the higher chance of successful adoption. No one likes to go out of their way to use multiple software products just to do their job. Look for integration opportunities that make sense for both you and your team. If none are available, think outside of the box and look at API integrations that are available or even Zapier.
7. Ensure Everyone Knows Where to Go for Help
Provide your team with as many resources as possible! Ensure that if they need help with something, they know where to go or who to ask (i.e. the champions). Further, most software companies have support teams and resource centers that are available to solve client issues – ensure your team utilizes these by letting them know they’re available!
Usually, introducing a new software across an organization is an uphill battle. Luckily for you, it isn’t impossible! Utilize the tips above to ensure a successful adoption of new software in your organization. If you have any suggestions, let us know in the comments below.