The user adoption of new technology within an organization, whether it is a CPQ or proposal solution or another type of business automation software, doesn’t happen overnight. Companies invest in these software solutions to help eliminate process bottlenecks, increase efficiencies, save time and grow revenue, but the implementation process often comes with its own challenges.After all, software adoption is about transforming the way that people work. As most of us are creatures of habit, there is bound to be fear of change. Your employees’ routines are changing, and new habits need to be formed. Without an actionable adoption plan, software implementation can be stressful and difficult.
Done right, however, software adoption can be a process that replaces fears of change with anticipation and support. In this blog, we’ll share six key steps for encouraging successful software adoption in your organization.
What is Software Adoption?
Simply put, software adoption means upgrading from an old system/software (or a system that no longer meets your needs) to a new system/software (a system that does meet your needs). This transfer or conversion process typically happens when a company feels the need to move on to software that is more efficient, versatile and overall a better fit for the business.
There are several adoption strategies to implement the brand new system to fit in with the business. Here are the ones we recommend.
Six Key Steps for Successful Software Adoption in your Organization
1. Let Your Team Know the Software is Purpose-Built for Them
Business automation software is developed with specific users (or teams) in mind, because they have different skill levels and needs. For example, CRM software would be developed with the marketing and sales force in mind. These users don’t have a high level of technical expertise and will only be interested in reading, collating and managing data.
If a team is convinced that the software is designed with their specific needs in mind, you may just have overcome the first roadblock to successful software adoption.
2. Select User-Friendly Software
Have you selected software that is easy to navigate and use? If the software is what your team needs but they have a hard time using it, you will lose the battle before it starts. Study the environment that your team is used to, gauge positives and negatives of the current system in use, and select software that is user-friendly, and highly efficient. An interface design that makes adoption and navigation smooth and hassle-free is a definite push in the right direction for succeeding with software adoption in your team.
Identify who your innovators and early adopters are and use them to spearhead the adoption process. Innovators and early adopters are the ones who will get the most excited about new software being implemented in your organization. They will be more than happy to not only adopt the new software in their own daily tasks, but their enthusiasm for the new software can be used to encourage even the most reluctant employees to give the new software a try. Remember to communicate well with them all the way and back them up with reliable support.
4. Make the Adoption Process As Undisruptive as Possible
You can’t expect business to stop while you implement the new software solution. Understand and analyze your current business environment and the process that your team is used to. Try and ease in the new system keeping this in mind. Let the team know how you will make sure that the incoming software system does not interrupt their workflow.
5. Provide Ongoing Support
Successful software adoption encompasses much more than the implementation itself. It requires end users to be trained, user manuals that can guide a step-by-step use of the software, and ongoing support. When you reassure your teams that this kind of support will be provided both during and after implementation, the organization is more likely to overcome resistance and fear of change, and embrace the new software.
6. Take the Software for a Spin
Understandably, your company may be a little hesitant to adopt new software, as there is no way of knowing beforehand if the system will be received well by end-users. Well, give them a way! Let them know you can test it out on a targeted group of users. A thorough test drive of software is vital. If the feedback isn’t as enthusiastic as you had hoped for, correct it and try again until they are happy.
Tore holds a Technical degree and has a variety of business courses from BI Norwegian Business School. He has previously worked for different oil service companies and IT companies. Tore used to be Norway's biggest self-proclaimed golf talent, and also has a big passion for Ice hockey.
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