The success of software implementation hinges on how the software is used after implementation. Not everyone is always eager to start using new software. So how do you ensure that software is well received within your organisation?
With the best practices and 5 valuable tips in this article, combined with a solid software implementation process you will increase support within your organisation and increase the chances of full adoption.
New software is introduced and implemented, after which the intention is that people start working with it immediately. But far from everyone is always able, or willing, to go along with this immediately. Some people see working with it straight away as more of a challenge, while for others it can really lead to resistance.
When implementation leads to resistance, you cannot force people. If people do not feel like it or do not see why the old way of working is no longer adequate, they will also not be willing to learn about the new software.
In such a case, it pays off to create more support among employees first. You will see that with more support, software is more easily adopted. A good step-by-step plan for software implementation will go a long way towards achieving this.
If you want to create support for change or acceptance of a software implementation plan, you can also approach your employees as if they were your customers. Throwing your product across the stage at a new customer and hoping for a good outcome is usually not very successful either.
So, in what way can you approach this?
When adopting new software, it actually works the same way. Find out what needs your employees have in their work and determine how these needs can be met. You will see that this way, people are already a lot more open to change.
TIP: Make sure you also make use of the 10 to 15% of your employees who are enthusiastic about the new software. These people are always around, and they are the ideal ambassadors of your project. Generally speaking, they will have little trouble making the switch and will be more than happy to talk about it – so even with the people who initially don’t see the new solution.
Software developments never stand still, so you are always dealing with new or updated software. So, your organisation is far from alone in needing to increase support for adoption of new software.
Does your organisation want to get started with new software? Then make use of best practices.
With the following 5 tips in your implementation plan for new software, you can increase support.
For instance, start a working group with input on how the new software will be used. Such a working group can provide you with valuable information, such as what the new software must meet. You usually cannot meet all the requirements. But this way, you can include people in decisions and considerations.
With such a working group, you give a clear signal that you are listening to the end user. This makes people feel that they have a say, which makes change easier to accept.
Start immediately by making the need for change clear. In doing so, ask questions such as:
Emphasise the benefits, such as time savings, better or easier cooperation, or more overview for easier reporting.
When you deal with change in this way, people will also start to realise that the old way of working is no longer tenable. That things can be done better. And that this can therefore be done in the way you suggest; for instance, by implementing the new software.
Is the implementation underway? Then regularly let the organisation know how it is going.
Be open and honest in your communication, about successes as well as challenges and pitfalls. Clearly explain why certain choices are being made, or not.
This kind of honest, open communication is important because it creates both enthusiasm and understanding. This understanding is important when things do not go as planned. Moreover, clear, regular communication gives all employees time to get used to the idea that they will soon be working in a different way.
Do you already have a date when you want to launch the software? Then mention this too so that people can start living towards it.
Before you move on to implementation, you obviously already have an idea about the software. You let the IT department try things out and see whether it meets the organisation’s needs. Don’t forget that other departments view software in different ways. The professionals who end up working with the software will look at it differently than you or the IT department.
Often, you only really find out how software works when the professionals try it out. So, involve these people early in choosing the new software package, and listen to their feedback.
You don’t have to let all users test it. Make use of the previously created working group again, for example. At most, involve a few more. Make use of social convention: deploy those colleagues others look up to. Because if they like the new solution, chances are that the others will go along with it.
This is also the time when you can start offering training.
Be aware that everyone learns in a different way. So, make the training sessions accessible to anyone who needs to work with the software. The more people you can train well, the better the software implementation plan will work.
Successes need to be celebrated, and the successful launch of new software with the help of positive support from employees is definitely a success. Reason to celebrate!
When employees enjoy both the implementation and the launch, then this is an important step towards adoption. A launch party can contribute to this. So, hire that barista, order tasty food, and decorate the place with garlands and balloons. Pamper people and thank them for making a positive contribution. Make sure that no one can ignore the launch, so that people start working with the new software the day after with a good feeling.
During the party but also in the days after, it is important that the first users are well taken care of. Leave nothing to chance. Let people know who has been trained and who can help and make sure questions can be answered immediately. That way, that good feeling will stick.
Not entirely unimportant; also make sure that all managers, executives, and IT staff set the right example from the very first moment. Because if they don’t support the launch of the new software, why should other employees?
So, all hands on deck, hands in the air and bang with that party!
After the launch of new software, its use needs to be embedded in the organisation. The IT department is already working on the next project, but the professionals are only now really starting to use it. This is the moment when you really have to deal with questions or problems, and when good support is indispensable.
Is no answer or solution available in this acceptance phase? Then you run the risk of people falling back into old habits. The new application is thrown off the phone (or simply not used), or a rollback to an older version is done. We just go back to doing as we always did, because? At least that’s how it does work.
…with all its consequences for the organisation and for the adoption of the new software.
So, make sure the aftercare of the software implementation is well organised. And that people know where to turn in case of problems. Keep providing support and you will increase the chances of people continuing to use the software – long after the implementation is complete.
Adoption does not stop after the first day, week or even month. It is an ongoing process.
So, it should be clear; software adoption is people work. And there is more to implementation than just training or launching. Creating support is essential. Only employees with intrinsic motivation will use and keep using the software.
Has your organisation set its sights on implementing Zenya software, for example? Not sure where to start, need help or just want to know more about “how to create support within organisations”?
We have extensive experience in implementing software packages or separate modules. We can support you in this and take work off your hands. Contact us so that together we can ensure that your software implementation and adoption run smoothly.