How to Avoid the Pitfalls of a New Software Rollout

 In Productivity

Change is the driving force behind your business. It can be welcomed in equal measure with open arms and dread. This is certainly true when it comes to fundamentally changing how people do things via your computer system. New software will eventually make your business sleeker and more competitive. But learning to use a new system can be clunky and for many employees, an uncertain time. Completing a successful software rollout is a big deal for you, your business and your people. There are many pitfalls and here is how you avoid disaster, needless worry and frustration.

Research

As part of the preparatory phase, you need to consult with your people about what they need and want.

It also needs to be clear why the system or software needs to change – is it because in its current form it can’t cope? Is there no further scope? Is it broken and needs to be fixed? Listen to your staff and pick out the common themes, concerns and feedback.

From the amalgamation of what your business needs and what staff need, you can choose the perfect product.

Roll Out

Swapping from one software to another is not a case of throwing it out there and hoping for the best;

Training – people need to be trained in the new piece of kit and what it can do. Start with a wholescale general training event but, when it comes to the finer points of the software, you will need to customise training. We all learn in different ways, with some seeing new software as an opportunity but others will see it as a foe.

Staggered Roll Out – rather than going wholesale across the company, if it is possible to stagger a roll out of new software, this is a far gentler and softer approach.

Influencers and Champions – there are some employees who influential and not so frightened of change and it is their enthusiasm you need to harness. Use them to become ‘experts’ and go to people who others can approach with questions or concerns.

Communicate, Listen and Be Ready

Change is unnerving. When this happens, people can feel threatened and insecure. They can be negative in their outlook, they can feel left behind and under-valued.

With any new software or changes, you need to communicate clearly, frequently and as early on in the process as is applicable.

Be positive – this new piece of kit is a fantastic addition to your company. As a business, thanks to the efforts and input of your staff, growth and expansion are happening – and fast. To keep up with this pace of growth, as employees they need better tools to do their job.

Some employees will fall behind any changes or new additions, but others will need to be led. And you need to be prepared to change and adapt to bring your whole staff team with you.

Rolling out change is a challenging time. New software can be especially difficult. Talk to your staff, get key people onside, train people, communicate and then flip the switch – and enjoy the rewards it brings.

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