So, you’ve just purchased some brand new, shiny software. Does it still have that new software smell? Congratulations!
In an effort to make sure you remain in the honeymoon phase throughout the lifespan of your purchase, we’ve compiled a short list of practical tips to ensure the successful implementation and adoption of your services:
Prioritize what’s important
This first step is absolutely critical. Successful implementation and adoption is dependent on how you prioritize the goals of the new product or service. Is security far more important than ease of use? Do your goals represent both the needs of IT and the business? As you explore your options, make sure to seek out a solution that makes your CIO and your end users happy.
Think it through
Prior to purchasing new software, think back to any challenges you might’ve had with previous products or providers: Were there technical issues after you went live that could’ve been avoided? Did the end users find the products easy to use or did they resort to workarounds? Did the product truly solve a problem; or did it actually create more problems? Take some time to think through these questions as they will help you move into the next step (see #3).
Create a realistic timeline for roll out
Depending on how many employees your company has, this process can take several months. If getting the accounting team started before the human resources team makes sense, then by all means, prioritize them accordingly. While hard deadlines may not be necessary at this point, having a plan in place is.
Organize a pep rally with your team
Everyone likes to know their input is valuable and including them in the process of the purchase is a win for all. Get feedback from your team to learn their pain points with your former or current solution. Once you explain that the new solution is going to alleviate those, you’ve gained some allies who are equally (if not more) excited about your purchase. Naturally, this will increase active use. Let them know the why and reasons for the changes to be made. You’d be surprised to learn how much less averse to change your team can be.
Test, test, and test some more!
If you’ve ever asked yourself during the testing phase, “What happens if I do this?” or “What happens when I do that?” then by all means, try it out! Being prepared for a multitude of scenarios ensures that your end users are going to be far more comfortable using the product when you already have the answers ready for them.
- Solve for why. Having clear expectations and guidelines are a definite positive. Is this replacing an existing solution or is this going to supplement your current workflow? Make sure the users understand the why for changes, even after the purchase.
- After the initial pep rally, follow up with users to check in and see how things are going.