Every business in the market is competing with you in some or the other way to buy their products. This makes businesses from size to size compete with each other and make their way to success. One of the common ways to distinguish yourself from others is by implementing new software tools for your business that provide continuous improvement. These new software tools will make you stand apart from the other peers in the league by posing ways to improve productivity, amplify workflow, and make processes optimal. Hence, to do all of this, you need a strong software implementation process plan in action.
Finding the most suitable custom software development company for your unique business needs would require time and effort as well as in most circumstances a major financial investment.
Table of Content
- What is a Software Implementation Plan? Why Do You Need One?
Furthermore, you must have to make a systematic plan. Your team may be accustomed to doing things in a specific way, and if that method is working well for them, entirely changing their business processes may result in resistance to change. This article will help you to enlighten your business with specific ways of successful software implementation plans, how to plan it and how to execute the implementation plan seamlessly.
1. What is a Software Implementation Plan? Why Do You Need One?
It has now become a norm for businesses to encounter new-edge software systems and applications. But when it comes to software adoption, businesses take time and effort, which is why you want to get the most out of your software implementations.
Each dollar you spend should yield a verifiable return. A well-planned software implementation approach, on the other hand, will boost your success by improving the decision-making process.
Let’s look at some of the main reasons why software adoptions fail to demonstrate the importance of having a good software implementation plan. Here are some of the tried and tested ways of software implementation. These steps will help businesses to achieve accelerated growth and business objectives.
Step 1. Craft a Business Case
In this process of developing a software implementation plan, your first approach should be to create a business case. There are strategies that need to be well executed and in less abstract terms. Not like those rash decisions you make with some technology that you need for business on an urgent basis.
This goes true for companies of all types and sizes. While smaller companies have more opportunities to pivot rapidly, they also have the most to lose. Since this network of business rarely moves as a single unified entity, which makes large organizations in the most trouble with implementation. As a result, some departments and locations will eventually lag.
While you start to develop a business case, reach out to your intended users and solicit their feedback, regardless of who you are. Build your case around the most difficult activities by focusing on the pain points of the intersection. When you build a business use case, have answers to questions like what do you stand to gain and what do you stand to lose? Is it possible to compare which one is more significant than the other?
When you develop a business case like this, you’re obviously looking for a return on investment (ROI), which is a statistic. So, always create a business case that will have the software implementation project’s returns lower than others in the expectation list.
Step 2. Choose the Right Vendor for your Software
As the next step in your software implementation strategy, your vendor plays a vital player. The level to which your vendor will support your implementation (and at what implementation cost ) vary but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to get as much help as possible from them.
According to many types of research that are conducted in the past, getting the most out of your vendor and the new system begins during the selection stage. This process begins by involving employees and other relevant stakeholders who will be using the new system on a regular basis in order to create a needs document that can be shared with vendors.
Gather all of this information from your stakeholders and compile it into a needs document to present to suppliers so that the new system meets all of your requirements. In this process of understanding your vendor, you must have a set of questions for your vendor:
- What is the scalability of the app you developed? What are the future updates and how are upgrades done?
- Can the software integrate new features into existing ones?
- Are there any hidden costs added to it?
- What about application training? Does the vendor provide software training?
- What after-sales support is included in your solution or service?
After then, this document should be used again throughout the implementation phase. Your vendor will know which features of your system will need the most experienced developers.
Step 3. Eliminate the Scope Creep at All Levels of Costing
You need to be extra cautious when it comes to the cost of business for your designed applications. Now if you’re not diligent as a software developer, there are many extra functions that you need to solve that can lead you astray. When companies concentrate on perfection, they almost lose sight of the overall picture, at that moment you are most likely to hit the out-of-control line of a software implementation project. In such cases, the launch of initial products is amplified and timelines are rearranged so the software investment costs have been increased and this term is described as scope creep.
With so many options and customizations available in the software market, it is still advisable to create a needs document that explains everything you’re searching for is crucial when it comes to software evaluation.
The document should be a theory that provides a clear image of your company’s precise requirements.
Software implementation is no exception. Projects rarely come out exactly as intended. Changes during the software life cycle are unavoidable but you must maintain a certain level of control to avoid scope creep.
This is why it’s critical that your implementation team follows project management best practices at the implementation stage and that everyone collaborates to get the most out of their product.
Step 4. Put Together a Well Performing Software Implementation Team
Teaming the right set of software developers is very important when it comes to implementing the right implementation plan. The team you select or assemble will determine your software implementation success. It might be as small as two people or as large as needed.
The larger the team, the more departments that require the software. Each department’s representative serves as the new team of software leaders, answering inquiries and assisting colleagues with training.
There are some common job roles and professionals to be included in the process of achieving software implementation goals.
- Project owner
Usually, the head of the business or department deploys the new software system; in larger businesses, this may be a team of executives rather than just one person.
- Project Management
Someone who takes up responsibilities that include arranging the implementation process and determining the budget.
- Technical manager/ System Administrator
Oversees the setup and technical administration of the system.
- Go-to individual
Here you need a point of a contact person who acts as a communication link between end users and the project team. That person is known as a superstar end user. Members from various departments inside your company keep in mind that the people you choose for your implementation team represent your commitment to the initiative’s success.
Step 5. Drive User Adoption
This is the last step in the implementation process to drive user adoption. You don’t want to end up with software that no one wants to use. So, it is vital to understand how you can drive users and convince them to buy your products. Of course, if you’re the owner of the company, you can simply demand that your employees embrace the new system. However, you should expect opposition and a rise in employee unhappiness.
There are a few things you can do to prevent having to push your employees to utilize the new software. As soon as possible, start preparing your team for the switch: the sooner you inform employees of the change, the more likely they are to accept it.
Later you need to drive your software by assigning the proper IT support infrastructure to teach and hold end-users accountable for their actions. Plan for continual education, partition training into modules, and break up the content into digestible chunks if you’re working on incremental progress.
Successful implementation of software applications is one of the finest ways for you to manage the software implementation process. In the above blog, we have stated the five crucial implementation processes necessary for a software implementation project. These steps ensure you get the most out of your new program of project management software in a smooth transition.
Keep in mind that this is a collaborative effort involving IT leaders, core department members, implementation teams, system evangelists, your selected vendor, and the rest of the company. All this is done to achieve successful software implementation. This could also be used to maintain communication and engagement throughout the implementation phase.