How to implement a new software system, without the hassle

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Articles, Blog

As humans grow from infancy to adulthood they typically need to change their wardrobe from time to time. The change in various body measurements triggers the need to discard old clothes and buy new ones.

The case is the same with organisations. With time, as part of their digital transformation strategy, they have to dispose of proverbial old clothes and buy new ones. The proverbial clothes, in this instance, serve as a metaphor for software.

Your organisation is just as dynamic, constantly changing, growing and adapting to the needs of the community and audience you serve. And your software applications should support that. 

But changing clothes, or software, shouldn’t be difficult or stressful. In fact, it can be easier than you think, especially with so many SaaS (software as a service) products on the market.

Let’s dive in to learn more about the process.

What is software implementation?

Software implementation is the process of adopting and integrating one or more software into an organisation’s system and workflow. It involves selecting new software to either meet needs that weren’t previously attended to or to deal with needs better than the software previously in use.

Software implementation

With that being said, an explanation of software implementation is never complete without giving due attention to the importance of new software implementation as well as the challenges it faces.

The importance of new software adoption

Some benefits of software implementation can include:

  • Enhanced productivity
  • New functionality
  • Better quality of service
  • More customer satisfaction and improved user experience
  • Greater security 
  • Notable reduction in costs  

Challenges faced during new software implementation

Some of the difficulties encountered when implementing new software in an organisation are:

  • Possible reluctance to change from the team
  • Compromised data integrity during the transition
  • Coping with possible learning curves
  • Delays in the regular workflow

The process of implementing a new software system in a company

Implementing a new software platform in an organisation can come across as a gruelling task. However, this doesn’t have to be the case; it could all be a breeze! Let’s explore a hassle-free process for the implementation of new software.  

1. Prepare a thorough plan

The first step in a new software implementation process is to create a comprehensive plan. It prepares the company for what lies ahead and reduces the chances of the transition flopping. The software implementation plan basically conducts a risk assessment of the software adoption, identifies the shortcomings of the old software and indicates when its use will come to a halt.

Create a process for software implementation

Additionally, it maps out the technicalities of the transition, provides guidelines on how to prepare your team for the new software and gives tips on how to soften the impact of the change.

What’s more? It pinpoints the current needs of the company to ensure that the new software is capable of meeting them.     

2. Communicate the need to your team

Communication leads to community. Isn’t that what they say?

Well, that’s true, even when implementing new software in a company.

Frankly, not every member of your team will welcome the idea of software adoption with smiles and open arms. As we identified moments ago, reluctance to change is one of the challenges facing new software implementation.

Keeping your workforce and any other stakeholder in the dark will only worsen the situation. But with proper communication, they’ll make sense of the motive behind the transition as well as how it will spur improvements.  

So, to have a streamlined software implementation, keep every person who’s concerned updated. Brief them on the following:

  • The idea behind the new software implementation
  • Various phases of the transition
  • The benefits of moving to a new software
  • Expectations of the transition
  • The expected timeline for the team 

It fosters unity.   

3. Identify the various alternatives

Once you’re sure of the current software’s shortcomings, it’s time to scout for potential replacements.

To be sure you scout optimally, it’s imperative that you have a solid idea of the features you want in the new software.

Shopping for software

This will easily purge unsuitable options.

You can run a search on the internet to get an idea of the other software in that category. Usually, the search results will unleash a cascade of options. Dive in to get the details on as many of them as you can. 

However, be wary of sponsored listicles written mainly to generate leads for the sponsors.

Nothing stops you from asking around to know what other business counterparts would recommend. Friends, colleagues or even members of online communities are reliable resources in such matters. If they recommend any software, I dare say it’s worth checking out.

Word of mouth is powerful.    

4. Test the waters

Having made a good list of software that you can implement, the next port of call is to give each one a try to get a feel of how it operates. It’s worth mentioning that this is only a trial stage. Thus you shouldn’t go diving into the deep end right away.

Properly test-run each software to ascertain its efficiency, else it might cost you. According to the Consortium for Information and Software Quality, in the year 2020, the total cost of poor software quality in the US amounted to a whopping sum of $2.08 trillion.

Testing software

Ugh!

Never check the depth of the water with both feet.  

Thankfully, most software companies agree with us on this and they offer free/trial/demo versions of their software. Make the most of this version to get a solid idea of how each option functions.  

This testing phase should further give you insight into:

  • Whether each software is better or worse than the current one
  • Which one will yield the best return on investment
  • Which one has the best user experience

If you find that one isn’t working as you’d like it to, don’t tear your hair out. In fact, appreciate the fact that you spotted its deficiency quickly; move on to the next.

5. Make your pick and train your team

After assessing the various software, the next step in the new software implementation process is to select one that serves you.

Without new software, there’s nothing to implement. Don’t you agree?

An integral part of this step is to ensure that every member of the team attains a level of proficiency in using the new pick.

Thus, you should see to it that your team members are adequately trained in the use of the new software. Whether you opt to introduce experts, documented tutorials or refer them to the software’s AI-powered assistants, it’s up to you.

Just see to it that they are groomed in the use of the new software.       

6. Leave nothing behind

After deciding on the particular software to proceed with, and having drilled your team on how to use it, it’s time for the transition. This step is the core of the software implementation process and the goal is to transfer your company’s entire data to the new software. 

It’s crucial that you actually know what you’re doing so that nothing slips through the cracks. 

Therefore, instead of mindlessly throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, you can refer to the software’s resource section for instructions on how to move your organisation’s data to the new software. Alternatively, you can scour the Internet for reliable guides.

On another hand, there’s always the option of using the software’s dedicated import tool. Most software has a data import feature, but in the event that your choice doesn’t, you’re welcome to use any reputable data transfer tool.

Reap the rewards of improvement 

To bring it back to that new wardrobe, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of looking good in your new duds.

And your organisation will feel the same in that new software when implemented effectively, and when you start reaping those benefits that made you want to update the software in the first place.

Software solution you'll love

Be sure the software you implement comes with helpful resources and guides on getting started, so you can avoid any bumps in the road.

It’s something we offer at Award Force for organisations looking to improve their awards software solution. We make sure it’s easy and that you can get started, and fast!

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