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The Pitfalls of New Software and Process Implementationon 31 August 2018Posted by Sam Abrahams
Looking to overhaul your business? Good for you, after all standing still could leave you at the back of the queue. All around you companies are busy implementing, updating and moving with the times. It’s all about maximising efficiency and part of that inevitably involves introducing new software or implementing effective new processes.
Does change always go smoothly? Do pigs fly? Of course not! There are risks involved and there will be hiccups along the way. That’s why you need to put strategies in place to minimise the chance of failure. Communication, team collaboration, a cohesive plan – all are essential when moving forward with a project.
Let’s check out a few of the common pitfalls you might come across:
Lack of Communication
Team collaboration is of paramount importance. You have Alejandro in the Madrid office, Camille in Paris, Brad in New York and Emma in London. Jack lives in Cornwall and works from home (or the park if it’s sunny)! It’s safe to say you have a diverse project team – they are great at what they do and have vast technical knowledge, ability and skills between them. But how do you make sure they are all working toward the same goal?
You want to roll out new software across the whole company and ensure that the roll-out is consistent. It’s essential that milestones and objectives are in place from the get-go. Make sure every project team member can see the plan (wherever they are) and can contribute ideas and communicate progression. It’s a good idea to have a shared platform where everyone can come together to brainstorm, discuss, update and chart performance.
Lack of Leadership
You may have the most effective project team in the world but without clear leadership there is no captain to steer the ship in the right direction. Communication and key objectives need to come from the top and cascade throughout the business. Here is our new software, look what it can do for us, let’s implement it by doing this and get it in by this date. One message – one clear goal – one consistent method of getting there.
Lack of Incentive
“I don’t like the idea of changing what we have.”
“There’s nothing wrong with our current way of working.”
“I don’t like the new system.”
These are all common reactions to change, for some change signifies worry and uncertainty, and begs the question “Why do we need to change?”
It can take weeks or months for employees to get to grips with new systems and procedures, so an incentive can be a great way to encourage a workforce to give it their best shot! Whether you choose to reward or reprimand giving an employee’s a reason to get to grips with “new stuff” will help to move things along.
Lack of Active Participation
We’ve already touched upon the importance of team collaboration and the need for effective communication when implementing a new process or software. When things get moving it’s important that employees still work together and don’t go off “maverick” style. There’s might be one or two who think they can work their way around a new process without really learning the ropes (or blatantly ignore it and just get by). This should be discouraged! All employees should immerse themselves in using new software or adopting a new process, it’s the only way to really understand it.
Lack of Understanding
Software is merely a tool to get the job done, but it is an essential tool and if your user doesn’t how it works you could end up in a mess. It’s useful to produce a simple manual for workers that outlines the new software or process. Ways of working are a great way to standardise a method, keeping everyone on track and informed.
Keep on Going! Follow It Through
Got your new software or process in place? Good work, give your implementation team a pat on the back (and yourself if you feel the need)! But it’s no time for resting on your laurels! You need to keep an eye on how things are going, there may be problems down the line so don’t assume you will see immediate results. Encourage employees to keep at it and make sure you identify issues and provide resolutions.
Looking for local government software solutions for your agency? These five public sector software companies just might fit the bill.
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