By Joyce Wilson – Introducing new software into your company is one thing. Rolling out a replacement software solution, however, can actually be a bit tricky. As such, it’s smart to have best practices in place to ensure a smooth transition. Also, givecareful consideration as to whether you really need new systems – according to Tech Target, sometimes upgrades are far less expensive and just as effective as new products. Net2 can help you determine the best investment for your unique business needs.
Software You Need
Before you add, update, or replace key pieces of software, think about your company’s needs and how the software will make things easier, more efficient, or more secure for your staffers and your business. Software everyone benefits from includes customer relationship management (CRM) programs, payment processing systems, and cybersecurity software. Project management and inventory management software are also invaluable, as both allow you to better track and manage work product and product cycles in an efficient manner.
Take a Poll
Find out who on your staff has or hasn’t used a particular program in the past. This can help you identify who might need extra help and who can aid in the transition by being a go-to resource.
Consider Learning Styles
When you’re introducing and training on an upgrade, keep everybody’s learning styles and knowledge base in mind to prevent problems from arising. Some people prefer hands-on learning while others prefer reading, listening to a speaker, or watching videos.
Play up the ways in which the new software will make employees’ jobs easier by enhancing collaboration, saving time, or even better, eliminating previous tedious or ineffective practices.
Bring in Trainers
Replacement software may have different iterations that even experienced users aren’t familiar with. Having a trainer come in and walk everybody through each feature and use will help everyone operate at the same level with the same information.
Sometimes people don’t want to speak up and admit they don’t “get” something. Keep an eye on the crowd and allow people to submit queries electronically so they aren’t put on the spot.
Create a Troubleshooting Guide
As part of your on-boarding procedure to the new software rollout, pay close attention to areas that people are struggling with and create a best practices guide that everyone can use for reference.
Consider a Tiered Rollout
Software programs often have numerous features, and your team may not need to use all of them or learn them all at once. According to Serengeti, introduce basic concepts to start and then add in advanced features once people are comfortable. This can help prevent staffers from being overwhelmed.
Implement a Crossover Period
If you’re introducing a replacement software program that has complexities that may make it difficult to learn and implement in short order, consider having a time period in place where you transition between program versions. This will help ensure work is getting done as needed while giving people time to get accustomed to the new system.
Don’t Insist on Full Immediate Compliance
While it might seem counter-intuitive, if you have some staffers who won’t use a particular program on a regular basis, there’s no need to waste company time getting them integrated at the same level as those who will use it on a more regular basis.
Make It Enjoyable
Mandatory software upgrade training can be a bit boring, so make it fun for staffers by combining it with a catered lunch or a half-day casual dress workshop.
Any time a new or replacement software program is introduced, there’s a learning curve, so be patient with your staffers and give everyone time to adjust.
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