Change is hard, especially when it comes to running and operating a business. We like to avoid unnecessary risk by staying in our comfort zone — but sometimes, that decision is actually holding us back.
We see this a lot with the software teams use. Tools that were designed to help make us more productive or save the company money are actually doing the opposite. They’ve become difficult to use or costly to maintain, but the thought of changing tools feels too time-consuming or expensive to consider.
But we don’t have to be victims of the sunk-cost fallacy. With the right implementation rollout plan in place, migrating to a new tool can be a seamless transition for your team.
What is a software implementation rollout?
A software rollout plan dictates how a company or team will be introduced to and trained on a new tool. The rollout shares important dates, instructions on how the team will transition to the new tool, and any goals you might have during the process.
Why is a software implementation rollout important?
Creating a software implementation rollout helps make the transition to a new tool easier so your team can get up to speed faster and you’ll reach the full value of your purchase sooner. It also provides clear instructions on moving from where you’re at to where you need to be.
A plan can help make your software rollout more successful, saving you money and boosting productivity. Your plan can reduce confusion, prevent your team from feeling overwhelmed, and ensure they get the most out of the new software you’re introducing.
Key components of a software implementation rollout
Before we get into how to build a software implementation rollout plan, let’s talk about the key components your plan should include:
- Software announcement and introduction. Give your team a heads-up that you’ll be switching tools, including the new software and your reasons for the change. Be transparent and leave your door open for questions or concerns. The more your team feels included in the decision-making process, the better.
- Company goals and objectives. Fill your team in on the importance of your new software. Share why you’ve selected this tool, what problems it intends to solve and what you hope to accomplish when your software rollout is complete.
- Deadlines, due dates, and milestones. Establishing goals with clear dates sets expectations for you and your team. Employees will know what is expected of them and when, and they can prepare for the changes coming their way. Deadlines and milestones also help you understand if you’re staying on track.
- Training schedule. Let your team know when training sessions are going to happen. Help them prepare by providing a schedule of when they will learn each different component of the new tool.
- Key leaders and support methods. When undergoing your software change, it’s likely that your team will have questions. Point out what leaders or teams will be responsible for each component of your rollout and how they can be contacted. Build in opportunities for feedback and support to ensure your team stays engaged.
How to build a successful software implementation rollout
Ready to start building your plan? Here’s how you can get started.
1. Set goals and acknowledge roadblocks
The first step to building a successful plan is to identify where you are, where you want to be, and what is standing in the way of getting there.
What do you hope to accomplish by introducing your new tool? Why is this new software different or better than what you’re currently doing? Establishing your objectives early on can help rally your team around one central goal.
It’s just as important to highlight the roadblocks that could potentially stand in your way. What hurdles do you need to overcome to make your goal a reality? What needs to change before you can introduce this new tool? Pointing out the challenges ahead of you and your team can make it easier for you to prepare and collaborate on realistic solutions.
2. Establish key players
Whether your rollout will impact your entire team or just a few departments, it’s important to establish the key people involved in your transition. This will likely include:
- Software end users. Who will actually be using the new software?
- Educators and trainers. Who will be leading training and onboarding initiatives?
- Advocates. Who will help build momentum and excitement about the new tool?
- Leaders. Who will lead the rollout?
- Consultants. Who will support your team as they transition to your new tool?
Knowing all the people involved in the process will make it easier to clearly define roles and responsibilities. When you name the teams, departments or individuals that fall into each category, each person will know where they fit in the software rollout and where they can find the help or support they need throughout the process.
3. Get your training tools
The key to a successful software rollout is a strong training plan — something that is hard to accomplish without the help of a platform. Before you begin your rollout, establish what tools you’ll be using in the process.
You don’t want to create further complications by using a training tool that is overly complex or requires extensive training on its own. However, your tool should cover the following capabilities:
- Information capturing and sharing. Rolling out new software comes with a lot of new information to learn. The tool you use to facilitate your rollout should make it as easy as possible to capture information and share it with your team.
Choose a tool that enables a variety of ways to share information, including text, videos and images. When you can use multiple media forms to get your point across, you can meet team demands regardless of what they are.
- Communication and collaboration. Successful training comes down to strong communication. Team members trying to learn new software will need to be able to easily access content, ask questions and get answers.
Your training tool should have built in opportunities to communicate and collaborate. Keeping everything within one platform can prevent key points and information from getting lost.
- Tracking and analytics. It’s important to know who has accessed what training materials and when so you can ensure everyone stays on the right track. Built-in tracking and analytic tools can help leaders keep an eye on who still needs to complete specific tasks.
Analytics can also help you identify areas where your team might be struggling. When you’re able to be proactive about giving them additional support, your rollout can run smoother.
A process documentation tool like Scribe can make creating and providing training materials simple. Automate creating how-to guides, complete with videos, images, GIFs and more, so your team has visual step-by-step instructions to follow throughout the entire training process.
And with new Scribe Pages, you can compile different steps into one easy to share document. Your team can refer back to Pages whenever they need a refresher, helping them take control of their software training process.
4. Schedule check ins & opportunities for feedback
You don’t want to wait until your rollout is complete to check in with your team and get their feedback. When you gather feedback along the way, you can make quick changes to your plan to ensure a smoother transition.
It’s important to have a plan, but sticking too close to those expectations can actually hold you back from properly implementing your new software. You want to know as soon as possible if something isn’t working.
Schedule check ins with your team throughout the rollout. Consistent opportunities to touch base and collect feedback will help you identify those issues quickly and make the appropriate changes so your team can stay on track.
Gather feedback through multiple channels, including:
- In-person meetings. Connect with teams or individuals face-to-face to collaborate on the rollout process. Learn what is working, what isn’t, and what ideas they might want to share to make the rollout process stronger.
- Anonymous surveys. Letting team members submit feedback anonymously can give you more honest responses. Surveys also serve as a quick and easy way to collect feedback from a wide range of team members.
- Internal forum. A forum is a great way to start conversations amongst your team. In addition to using it to collect feedback, your team can ask questions, get advice and share ideas directly with one another.
Get started with your next software implementation rollout
Introducing new software to your team will always be an adjustment — but it doesn’t need to be difficult. With the right plan, tools and team supporting you, your software implementation rollout can be smooth and successful.
Scribe can make documenting processes and providing clear instructions to your team easier than ever. Sign up for a free account today to see how Scribe can help you boost team productivity while saving costs and boosting team engagement.