How to Simplify the Software Implementation Process: 5 Tips
You’ve finished comparing software vendors and choosing the platform to best address your company’s needs. Now you’re on track to simplify processes and send employee productivity soaring, right?
The answer is: it depends. While picking out the software that best suits your needs is important, it is equally critical to have a strong software implementation plan. This plan will drive user engagement and ROI, ensuring that the new software helps employees maximize productivity, not reduce it.
It is unlikely that simply deploying a new platform and waiting for people to use it will be successful. A carefully thought out software implementation process is necessary to achieve true adoption. Following these implementation procedures will help you get there.
1. Identify Business Needs
Any newly acquired software should make a measurable and meaningful contribution to your company. It’s important to know exactly what issue the software is supposed to address, and make sure it actually fulfills this goal.
Continue to assess the technology’s efficacy throughout the software implementation process. Talk to employees who use it to see how it affects their productivity. If you cannot see a positive change occurring, you can more easily identify the source of the issue and fix it.
2. Set Milestones to Measure Progress
With the overall goal for the software implementation in mind, set a few smaller goals to achieve throughout the process. Passing milestones will help you measure the new product’s success.
For example, let’s say you purchased the software to save employees time. A milestone could be accomplishing a task at increasingly shorter intervals. Or it could be accomplishing a higher volume of work in a given time frame. However, you decide to set the milestones, know how you will quantify the success of the implementation.
3. Engage Employees to Encourage Adoption
By this point, you have a solid understanding of your needs and have measurable goals. Now, it is time to begin the software implementation process.
One of the most significant software implementation challenges is making sure that your users actually adopt it. It seems like a silly thing to overlook, but engaging staff and ensuring that the software serves their needs is critical. If employees do not see the value in the product, they will not be motivated to use it.
You can improve adoption rates by allocating time for employees to test the new software prior to implementation. Ask for feedback and try to implement any changes or modifications that will help more people adopt it.
4. Make Onboarding Easier With a Training Solution
A digital adoption platform (DAP) is a great way to increase adoption of any new software. WalkMe’s DAP provides on-screen, contextual guidance in real time to help employees reduce time-to-competence when learning to use a new software platform. Pop-up prompts and navigation assistance remedy frustration associated with navigating an unfamiliar interface and ensures productivity remains high throughout the learning period.
Coupled with a traditional training process or used on its own, the DAP provides step-by-step guidance and engagement to convert skeptics to champions of your new software.
5. Use Analytics to Measure Success
To truly make the case for supporting the cost of a new software system, you need the numbers to prove its effectiveness. Creating an analytics system to measure progress is an important part of the software implementation process.
Using those milestones and goals you created at the beginning, track how well the software is delivering on its promises. How many people have converted and how quickly? How have productivity levels changed? How many fewer calls are there to your IT help desk?
If the answers to those questions are positive, you know you’ve created an effective and engaging software implementation plan.