September 20, 2015
Change is inevitable for progress, but change comes with its own sets of challenges, and this is doubly true when it comes to technology in the workplace. Integrating cutting-edge software will help your company run more smoothly and efficiently, but switching from old to new ways of doing business can be difficult and often comes with its own set of employee complaints. Recognizing this and preemptively coming up with ways to streamline the software rollout process will make for happier, faster implementation.
Here are a few strategies to help make your next software rollout the best one yet:
Put in the Prep Time
Nothing worthwhile can be accomplished overnight. Before setting the beginning of the software rollout date in stone, decide how much preparation is needed before implementation. This includes testing and troubleshooting by the technology team and adequate training for employees who will use the system. If you have a date in mind that you want to start using the new software, work backward from it by scheduling the proper steps to execution. No software change will be successful if the proper groundwork has not been laid so never skip over the importance of the implementation process.
Even with the best training and testing, there will still be hiccups along the way. Processes won’t work as planned. Employees will get frustrated. Questions will arise through use that weren’t thought of in the hypothetical bubble. Don’t get frustrated by these inevitabilities: plan for them. Having the right attitude about how much time you really need to have the best system possible is important to the long-term success of your products or services.
Keep Communication Open
It’s important to emphasize to employees that it is completely fine to come forward with any questions or concerns. They should never feel embarrassed to raise their hands and ask questions. In fact, companies should be sure they are asking for input along the way and not just relying on employees to speak up. Employees who feel supported in the software learning journey will be happier about having to change.
Have Long-Term Support
Be sure there is plenty of extended support to help employees with anything that comes up. This can come in the way of a FAQ sheet, customer service line to call, or even open hours in the technology department where people can come ask questions. If your company is working with the software vendor, make sure you have a plan in place for how the vendor will support your company after the initial implementation is complete. It would be great if everything worked perfectly, and every employee knew exactly how to use the new technology on day one, but it’s going to take a little while for complete implementation.
Remember the Bigger Picture
The whole point of upgrading software is to benefit in the long run. Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of that goal as the minor annoyances of implementation creep in. When it starts to feel overwhelming, picture your company in six months. How improved will it be because of this new software? How much more efficiently will it be running? By visualizing these improvements, it will make it easier to get through the sometimes cumbersome steps leading to full integration and improvement.
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