It shouldn’t feel like an acquisition
Implementing a new software within your business is always a big step. Actually, it is a huge step.
Hopes are high that better time are to come as this new tool will supposedly come in and save the day. However, far too often we are met this dismay, chaos, low adoption and hamstrung productivity for weeks. Things can get stressful.
A well-thought out implementation plan executed by your team is a determining factor in the successful adoption of your new software in attaining goals and objectives set for the project.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
How hell breaks loose
The three most common issues noted of difficulty during a new software implementation are:
- Having to learn while operating
- Explanation: whether you are a one man shop or a large enterprise, business doesn’t stop, especially for service industries. New tools, especially a PSA, are total game changers forcing you and your team to learn on the fly. This can be tough.
- Solution: Capitalize on KB articles and training. Most often there is training offered by the company you are working with, or at the very least, there may be third party training. This is recommended.
- Poor training
- Explanation: Training doesn’t just start with the software but employees ability to handle new tools and the stressful times of learning on the go.
- Solution: Set up new tool training that doesn’t require huge blocks of time, such as on-demand support via instant messenger or email, or a series of brief, informative videos, is ideal. If your provider has this, it is a major bonus.
- Data entry
- Explanation: Handling data entry along with normal day-to-day business operations can be stressful on all levels and can be one of the biggest challenges involving business software changes.
- Solution: Ensure your tool has data uploading capabilities. Check to see their policy or pricing to upload. What is the cost? Can you do it yourself?
Being aware of common issues is only half of the battle.
You’re going to want a plan. You’re going to want to set expectations. You’re going to want to set hard objectives.
Software implementation considerations from guys who implement lots of software
The eight top considerations to avoid other issues:
- Make a Timeline
- You must have clear objectives and a timeline for them
- Prepare for impact
- You must document the scope of the implementation and the impact it will have on existing processes
- Assemble a team
- Based on your analysis, assemble the appropriate internal and external team to complete the project on time.
- Put in the Prep Time
- Test and troubleshoot the technology. Training employees who will use the system. Schedule the proper steps to execution.
- Be Realistic
- 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.
- Keep Communication Open
- Employees 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.
- 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 whatever.
- 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
And that is it.
For those of you who have been on the ride with us since chapter one at the beginning of March, cheers to you. For others who tagged along mid-way through via Google, welcome, and if you are a professional services firm, you might benefit from the previous chapters we covered.
This was brought to you by SherpaDesk. Each month in 2017 we are highlighting and emphasizing one major pain for professional services firms.
This is part of our eight chapter series on Professional Services Automation.
See the rest below.
- Chapter 1: What is the hell is Professional Services Automation Software?
- Chapter 2: Where did Professional Services Automation Software come from?
- Chapter 3: How Does Professional Services Automation Software Work?
- Chapter 4: The Buyer’s Guide Checklist to Determining if You Need PSA Software
- Chapter 5: How Professional Services Automation Software Will Change Your Business
- Chapter 6: The Risks and Rewards of Using Professional Services Automation Software
- Chapter 7: How to Evaluate Your Business Needs Before Selecting a New Software
- Chapter 8: How to Implement New Software Into Your Business