Companies use a variety of software to make timetables, handle payroll, and ship goods. There is a wide variety of software out there. Some individuals require help from others, while others are there to help others, and yet others are looking for "the software" to embrace and deploy.
The adoption of software enables businesses to embrace the most recent applications, which in turn boosts productivity and the level of pleasure experienced by customers.
By learning the features of a well-executed software implementation project, your company may more easily integrate the right application with little disruptions.
What is software implementation?
The process of incorporating a new feature or a different piece of software into your already established services is known as "software implementation" or "IT implementation," for short. A software implementation is a significant product change that necessitates careful planning and preparation.
Why do you need a software implementation plan?
Since learning and implementing new software is hard work, so you should get as much benefit as possible. To put it another way, you need to see results before you continue spending money. However, if you put some effort into the process of implementing the program, you should have better results.
- Users are more likely to stick with you if you're constantly improving their experience, which is why updating to new software is so important.
- In 2021, it will be essential to adopt cutting-edge software systems since more people will develop and explore novel approaches to old problems. To rephrase, you fall farther and further behind the technology curve as time passes and your approaches grow antiquated. Updating your services and, more often than not, introducing whole new pieces of software is essential if you want to remain competitive.
- New marketing opportunities and success stories will directly result from the use of new technologies and software.
6 steps to create a successful software implementation plan
The following is a step-by-step guide that will assist you in getting the most out of your brand-new software system.
1. Set up a business case
Software installation is not something you undertake for no reason, no matter how big or small your company is.
While small businesses have more flexibility than their bigger competitors, expensive mistakes may be disastrous for any organization, especially those operating on a tight budget.
Larger companies, meanwhile, struggle to implement new software or upgrade old systems due to the increasing complexity of the decision-making process.
Both of these examples highlight the need for a solid business case when developing a strategy for implementing new software. In addition, employee resistance to change may be reduced by incorporating them early on in the process.
So how do you argue your case?
Draw attention to the trouble spots: Where does your business stand in terms of difficulty? In what ways might it be enhanced? Asking your employees and other interested parties is your best bet for finding this information. If the organization's productivity has hit rock bottom, the business loses money. As a result, that's where your attention should be directed. It's crucial to coordinate your own ambitions with those of the company.
Defend your answer by giving an example: Show how a new piece of software, like a project management suite, will help your team work more effectively and efficiently. Explain why this is so important in relieving the problems you mentioned.
Think about the pros and cons: Justifying the software investment is the primary reason for requiring a solid business case. Detail the monetary and non-monetary advantages the business stands to make from a successful launch.
Do a timeline and explain: Determine realistic timelines for tasks like software testing, system rollout, and return on investment (ROI)
Automate process documentation: Automating process documentation speaks volumes about your commitment to implementing the software smoothly in your company. By reducing or eliminating boring tasks, automated documentation boosts efficiency. There is no need to navigate between different programs or click on images to explain what you're doing. Scribe is a step-by-step guide generator that does the manual work for you. Just go through your process and watch the magic happen. Scribe creates a visual SOP in seconds. So simple!
Indicating your approach to dealing with change: Why should executives back your project proposal when McKinsey discovered that 70% of organizational transformation projects fail? First, by highlighting the price tag associated with ignoring the organization's long-standing problems. Secondly, you may win their trust by demonstrating that you have assessed the potential dangers and have a plan in place to avoid making the same mistakes that other businesses have.
2. Set clear objectives and plan for success
This stage may be seen as a more specific form of making a final decision on the schedule, preparations, and outcomes.
So, what should you aim for when designing your software implementation strategy?
- You should be able to explain to someone who knows nothing about the new software what it will do for your company. That is to say, you should know exactly what it is that you need and how you intend to get it. Will this new system properly meet your requirements?
- You should assign tasks to specific individuals or groups in order to ensure smooth execution. Preparation, testing, and constant refinement may be necessary for the process. Determine if you have enough capable people to deal with such challenges.
- Try to estimate how long it will take to finish everything. Don't ignore the testing and feedback phases while establishing goals and standards. After outlining what success will look like, it's important to make a checklist to double-check that you've addressed every aspect of the problem you set out to fix.
3. Get in touch with a reliable vendor.
If you've been given the green light, selecting the best software vendor is your next step. Despite what you may have heard, software is notoriously difficult to master.
Here are a few key questions to help narrow down your options:
- What are the specifics of your situation, if any (e.g., budget, desired features, whether you prefer cloud-based or on-premises solutions or a hybrid variation)?
- How long has this service provider been around? Just what are their qualifications, exactly?
- Where do their clients stand?
- Is there room for expansion in this program?
- Where can you find the full price?
- Does the program work with your company's current infrastructure?
- Does the supplier offer tutorials for the program?
- The cost of installation includes after-sale assistance, right?
- How do you feel about cloud-based updates and upgrades?
In the event of purchasing custom software, it is important to remember that developers will provide you with precisely what you ask for; thus, it is not sufficient to simply have an idea of what you want. Furthermore, you should be able to express it in the most specific terms.
4. Avoid scope creep.
There is a risk of becoming sidetracked by all the bells and whistles offered by various software platforms.
It is crucial to first create a requirements document that specifies the features and functions you want from the system you intend to evaluate. When you feel yourself drifting off track, it gently guides you back to the correct one.
Your organization's unique requirements should be spelled out in detail for potential suppliers in a needs document.
Whenever you configure every feature and alter every capacity of the software at once, you risk experiencing scope creep. It's an appealing trap to fall into. However, it leads to the following undesirable outcomes:
- The installation procedure takes a long time.
- Soaring prices
- Interest decreasing among stakeholders
In software development, like in any other project, the first day's results are rarely perfect. It's inevitable that things will change as the project progresses, but it's important to keep things under control to avoid "scope creep."
Because of this, it is crucial that your implementation team uses best practices in project management and that its members collaborate to make the most of the software for their particular divisions.
If you're working on software implementation process documentation with a team, a collaborative project management application can help you get the job done.
5. Assemble a competent group of people.
The success of your software implementation greatly depends on the caliber of the team you assemble. It might have as few as two members or as many as necessary.
The larger the organization and the more functions that will be affected by the software, the larger the team must be. Each department has a representative who acts as the department's champion for the new software and is available to answer questions and help with training.
The following people may make up your software implementation team:
Owner of the Project: The person or people in charge of the new software system implementation; in bigger businesses, this may be more than one individual.
Project manager: In charge of arranging the implementation process, including budgeting.
System administrator: Oversees the setup and technical administration of the system.
Superstar client: The point person who acts as a channel of information between clients and the project staff
Personnel from essential divisions: Departmental "champions" of the software across your business
6. Push for user acceptance
An underutilized software system is the worst possible scenario.
Here are some suggestions for encouraging employees to put the new program to use:
Get your teams ready for the change as soon as possible: Employees will be more amenable to the change if they are informed about it early on.
Appoint a manager for the transition: Someone needs to take the lead on this transition, and employees should know exactly who to contact with any issues or requests for training or feedback.
Communicate the advantages of the software: Software adoption rates improve when stakeholders realize the benefits they will reap from using the program.
Make sure there's enough training program: Teams may only use the program if members are familiar with its inner workings.
Maintain constant assistance: Problems are inevitable, especially at the beginning of adoption, making a dedicated help desk or tech support team very necessary.
What is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?
The goal of creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is to ensure that a given task is carried out, in the same way every time. Compliance standards, health and safety issues, and even just working in a consistent and efficient manner may all be fulfilled with the help of a well-written and implemented SOP.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are useful for facilitating consistency and reliability in the execution of a work, which in turn aids in achieving regulatory compliance and being audit-ready. Frustration, disinterest, and even significant noncompliance can result from poorly written and prepared documents for employees.
The process of implementing new software can be time-consuming and expensive.
This is why many companies use digital adoption platforms (DAPs) to provide training and analyze data gleaned from app use. DAPs cut down on the need for human labor, training time, and employee frustration by providing in-app training and coaching.
A company's investment in training should be substantial regardless of the software being installed. Doing so will improve the odds of a smooth rollout, enhance output, and promote morale.
This is why we recommend using standard operating procedures for software implementation.
How to develop and rollout software implementation SOPs for success
A software rollout plan is a strategy for introducing new software (or updating existing software) into an organization. In other words, it entails implementing new programs to facilitate your employee’s jobs. One must take this procedure very seriously.
A software rollout involves more than just switching programs; it also requires training and education for all of your staff.
Learn from these strategies for a smooth software release:
1. A common goal
Developing a goal is the initial step. It is imperative that your team members fully grasp this mission. If you don't, they may fight against your efforts.
2. Explain any potential roadblocks
You may identify potential roadblocks to your software rollout strategy by reviewing failed attempts to introduce new software, imagining how that would affect the present situation, and learning about any existing business processes that might stand in your way.
If, for instance, your company's current procedures are hindering its progress, you can work to alter them.
3. In-depth user knowledge
Since they're the intended target audience, they should have input into the design of this new program. By analyzing drop-out rates, levels of participation, and the overall effectiveness of training, you may get a sense of the difficulties they face and the help they require. You can learn more from these three than you may imagine.
That is true for those who will be using the software and those in charge. During times of change, communication is crucial. For instance, you and your employees can benefit greatly from an open approach to sharing knowledge.
This is where a standard operation procedure comes in.
By centralizing and organizing a company's standard operating procedures, good SOP software helps employees perform better than they otherwise could.
Let's say you decide not to immediately create a standard operating procedure. It will be more challenging to get things back on track, and there will be a higher chance of financial loss due to inefficiency (such as employees performing the same task twice).
With Scribe, you can quickly and easily document any digital procedure's standard operating procedures. Simply start your operation, hit "record" in the Chrome extension or desktop software, and Scribe will automatically transcribe your actions and provide text instructions with images. Here's one in action!
Shared scribes can be modified at any moment by their creator, and the changes will be reflected instantly for all users of the standard operating procedure (SOP).
The latest addition to Scribes, Pages, makes it possible to create stunning educational resources by fusing the app with video, photos, and more. Scribe and Pages may be embedded in any content management system and compatible with nearly all other popular apps.
Here's an example of a Scribe Page.
5. Consultants, as required
Aiming to reduce the anxiety felt by your staff throughout this procedure is a worthy goal. Consultancies and other service providers might be helpful if you want to keep the IT staff pleased.
6. Identify supporters
With the help of these promoters, a "social organization" may be formed to spread the word about the new software's advantages. There will be less pushback on the adaption if people are enthusiastic about the change.
7. Test the software
You can detect potential crashes or defects in the software with a small testing group, ideally made up of randomly selected people. This is crucial before making a full transition to new software, as it will give you more time to solve any issues that may arise.
Use Scribe to optimize the software implementation process.
The process of introducing new software should not be taken lightly. Having a well-thought-out plan in place is crucial for a successful software rollout.
Choosing which tool would best serve your needs might be difficult, but SOP software in place will be important for the company's future success. The correct SOP software may increase output, boost morale in the workplace, and make for happy clients and consumers.