6 Tips for Your Software Implementation Planby Rie Parker
When done properly, the software implementation plan is your roadmap to a smooth, successful software transition. But if it’s disorganized or rushed, it can stress out your teams and be a major cost to the business.
For a plan that helps your bottom line and keeps morale high, check out these tips!
Your Software Implementation Plan + Early Adoption
Before diving into some tips, let’s go over the primary goal of an implementation plan: early adoption.
Early adoption refers to the willingness and urgency with which your teams adopt and accept this new software. Without early adoption, the transition period will take far longer, likely causing business processes to become disorganized or delayed. An extended transition period can also create gaps in communication and other inefficiencies.
As you build your plan and explore these tips, be sure to keep early adoption in mind.
6 Tips for Your Software Implementation Plan
The idea of switching software can be overwhelming—understandably so. These are our top tips for ensuring your implementation plan goes as smoothly as possible.
Establish Training Leads or Ambassadors
A great way to do this is to make an announcement and gauge interest from there. Once you’ve found individuals who are interested or excited about a new software rollout, ask them to be ambassadors for your implementation plan.
Give this group early access to software demos and training sessions so they’re prepared to be the go-to person for their team or department. This way, there will be someone on hand to answer any simple or basic questions rather than having all FAQs go to IT, which could potentially overwhelm your IT department.
Get People in the Know and Get Them Excited!
It may sound funny to get people excited for a new software rollout, but you’ve chosen to implement a new software for a reason! Odds are, this is an upgrade from what they’ve been using, and it’s hopefully going to improve their workflow and time management.
So, highlight problem areas with the old software and express how the new one will aim to solve those problems. Software implementation doesn’t have to be mundane—by framing it as something new and exciting people are more likely to adopt it with open arms.
Have Leadership Buy-In
Another great way to encourage early adoption? Ensuring that leaders are on board, too. Leadership buy-in is integral to the success of your software implementation plan. Even though they may not be the main users or doers within the new software, they set the standards in their departments.
Teams will follow their lead on how quickly they should embrace this new software, and leadership can help create a sense of urgency for early adoption.
Clearly Define the Process at the Beginning
It’s imperative that you’re transparent with your employees about the details of your software implementation plan. This includes timeline, important dates, training opportunities, expectations, etc. And this needs to happen before the new software goes live.
Every person interacting with the new software should be aware of how it will impact their roles going forward. This will help you avoid confusion related delays, as well as keep you from playing catch-up later on.
Incentives are always a sound strategy for motivating teams—especially when you want to encourage early adoption to new software. And the great thing about incentives is that there are so many different options.
If your teams have returned to the office, consider morale boosters like catered lunches and treats. And if you have a lot of remote workers, make sure to provide incentives they can appreciate too—like food delivery gift cards or an early sign off.
The key is to 1) give recognition to the role they’re playing in a successful implementation plan, and 2) keep morale as high as possible. High morale can make a major difference in software adoption.
Foster a Learning Environment
Very few people can master a new software the first time they use it, and everyone learns differently. Create an environment that is patient, encouraging, and optimistic. This is the time for training, training, and more training—and leadership needs to make it as open, interactive, and welcoming as possible.
And don’t be afraid to make it interesting! Training doesn’t have to be some static, one-way lesson. Having an open and engaging forum will allow users to learn the software and retain that knowledge, rather than feeling discouraged by it.
Here are some suggestions to mix it up:
- Lunch and Learn: Host a catered lunch at the office where teams can enjoy a free meal while learning about the new software.
- Peer-to-Peer: This is another time to lean on those training leads and software ambassadors. If they’re comfortable, have them set up training office hours for peer led sessions.
- Gamified Training Exercises: Give employees tasks to complete within the software so they can learn hands-on and at their own pace and make a game or competition out of it!
Prioritize Your Plan
Prioritizing your early adoption and your software implementation plan will save you a lot of stress in the future. If you’re looking for expert support through this process, we can help—reach out to our team here: