Up to 91 percent of consumers will stop doing business with a company that uses outdated technology. Does this describe your company?
If so, you may be making plans to implement new and updated software. If this is the case, then developing a plan is a must. Regardless of if you need a new employee management system or to increase your business security, having a plan to implement the new software is a must.
Creating a new software implementation plan can help ensure everything moves as smoothly as possible. Keep reading for some tips on how to create a plan that will work for your company.
By using the tips and information here, you can feel confident that the right software is being implemented, and that the entire process will move smoothly.
1. Business Justification
Before starting any new software implementation project, there has to be a solid value proposition and concise business need. There should also be a gain or some type of benefit offered by implementing this new software.
In most cases, this benefit is going to come in the form of ROI (return on the investment) the company made to procure and then install the software.
Calculating the benefits offered by implementing software is usually the first required step. A justification or business case needs to take place before anyone discusses the purchase of new software. After all, no business is going to spend money without knowing it’s going to pay off.
2. Use a Detailed Needs Document to Keep Vendors Accountable
The vendor used for new or upgraded software is a key stakeholder in any software implementation plan. The extent can cost at which a vendor is going to support the implementation is going to vary; however, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to request as much assistance as possible from them.
Being able to get the most from the vendor and a new system begins during the selection stage. It’s important to engage employees that are going to be using the new system regularly.
Take time to create a list of each individual employee, team, and department that’s going to use the new software. This should include the day-to-day users, as well as leaders who consume the data the tool is going to produce.
Make sure to address who the stakeholders are, as well as how they are going to be impacted, and the impact’s timing. It’s important to answer any critical questions from all vested parties to create your needs document to share with your vendors.
The idea behind this document is to ensure that all the business’s needs are met by the new system being implemented. However, the document also needs to be used during the implementation stage.
3. Control the Scope so it Doesn’t Control You
Your needs document is going to define the capabilities the new system needs so you can focus on what’s most important in the selection stage. Then, again in the implementation and training stage, your document can help you avoid doing everything at the same time.
If you don’t take control of the scope, then something called “scope creep” may occur. This is when you keep adding new requirements and objectives until the entire thing becomes a huge mess that you can’t ever deliver on.
When it comes to the implementation of your software, scope creep is going to occur if you make the decision to customize and set up all the features of each capability at the same time. While all the bells and whistles may seem enticing, it’s important you remain on task to get the crucial elements of your new system in place.
While you can find out more about avoiding scope creep here, you can also use the tips based on the size of your business or company.
For a business with 10 or fewer employees, you can remain organized using free tools. For example, Google Sheets, manual recording, or Google Calendars.
With companies that have 11 to 50 employees, you can use free management tools. This can help you manage and assign various implementation tasks.
If you have a company with 50 or more employees, then it may be wise to use formal project management systems. This is a bit ironic, as you are also going to have to implement this new software, too.
4. Encourage User Adoption with an Engaging and Proactive Strategy
Regardless of how amazing and intuitive your new tools and system is, implementation and adoption aren’t the same. You have to put the proper strategies in place to ensure users not only adopt this new system but that they also accept it.
If there’s no positive engagement around this new product, then adoption may fall flat and ruin your entire implementation plan. A multi-step process you can use to ensure adoption and acceptance include:
You need to make sure everyone knows what the problem is. If they don’t know, they may not understand why new software is needed.
You can incentivize the use of new software with benefits or consequences.
Make sure users know why the new software is needed and how to use it to its full potential. You have to know how to create and how to maintain the change.
Make sure you close any skills gaps with training. This will help to ensure that the change is not restricted in any way.
Make sure you are consistently measuring and rewarding wins.
Use These Tips for Creating Your Implementation Plan
When it is time for you to create a software implementation plan, be sure to use the tips and information found here. Doing so will help ensure everything runs smoothly.
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