You’ve decided to breathe fresh air into your business and drag it into the 21st century. Though rolling out new software can be a difficult process, it is well worth the effort if it means you can do business faster and smarter. Your business’s productivity is set to soar and we all know what that means – a healthier bottom line.
But the success of implementing new software relies on how well it is received and integrated into the daily operation of your employees.
Here are five factors that can kill new software implementation and how to overcome them:
1. Not engaging IT early in the process
Your IT department can make or break the implementation of new software. And rightly so – technology is their domain and they are more equipped to understand the broader technical needs of a business. They will ask the questions others might not think to ask; questions that will ensure your business systems and information stays secure and protected. Engage IT as soon as the business decides to look at new software solutions. Make them a part of the decision-making process.
2. Unrealistic timelines
Rolling out new software takes time. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is thinking they can implement new software and have it accepted within a short period of time. When this fails (i.e. takes longer than expected) they feel that the software has failed. This isn’t necessarily true. New software takes time to be properly integrated into the operations and culture of a business. Work with your account manager on a realistic timeline and check in regularly if you encounter issues. This timeline must be communicated to the rest of the business, particularly the executive team. If everyone has realistic expectations of when the software will be rolled out, when training will be completed, and when the integration and acceptance of the new software should occur, then no one will be disappointed.
3. Allowing negative attitudes to take over
Some people are resistant to change no matter what it involves, but negative attitudes can poison the culture of your business. Ensure that your employees are consulted during the initial research phase before new software is chosen so that everyone feels part of the process. Be sure to communicate the benefits of the new software so that everyone understands how it will make their lives easier. Identify the people in the office who are positive about change and encourage them to become advocates. Positivity can spread just as much as negativity!
4. Lack of a carrot
Your staff will need encouragement in the beginning to take up and use new software effectively. Incentivising the correct use with a rewards and recognition strategy is a great way to increase engagement amongst staff.
5. Lack of a stick
Unfortunately, it can sometimes take a bit of time to convert everyone in a business into super users of new software, and while encouragement through positive reinforcement is powerful, there also needs to be consequences for not using, or misusing, software.
It is a good idea to communicate what is at stake if people misuse the software and also have some form of repercussion for non-compliance. Some successful ways of doing this include the creation of KPIs that involve the software itself.
Like all change, implementing new software takes time and adjustment. By avoiding these 5 pitfalls, your investment in technology will be well worth it; improving your company’s productivity by streamlining and simplifying processes.
About the author
David Moylan is the former Director of Safety and Risk for the Australian Army and Founder of leading provider of cloud based Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) software Vault Intelligence. Vault is currently used by over 600,000 people in 640 organisations across Australia and New Zealand including blue chip clients such as Coca-Cola Amatil and Visy Industries.