You’ve taken a big step and chosen new operational software for your company. Great! Now the hard work starts, as you have to navigate the challenge of the new software up and running, and fully implemented. For many, new operational software implementation is a long process with lots of headaches. It doesn’t have to be though. Consider these five pointers to help you implement new operational software, hassle free!
Scheduling at the right moment
Schedule the Go-Live for the slowest period of the year. You don’t do construction on the highway during rush hour traffic, if you can avoid it. Same goes for implementing new operational software at your company. No matter what you do, there will always be some element of disruption to your employees and customers as they adjust to the new processes and procedures. However, the disruption can be minimized if you schedule the Go-Live date for the slowest period of the year, (or day of the month).
Communication is the key
Determine an on-boarding period, and communicate that to your workforce. Assume the new system will take some time to become normalized to employees. It’s not reasonable to expect everything to be running at 100% on day 1. Communicate this on-boarding period to your employees and make sure they know your expectations during and afterwards.
Prepare for contingency
Include a contingency budget in addition to the expected costs of implementing new operational software. Ever hire a contractor to work on a construction project in your home or office? How often do they get the budget and schedule correct? Almost never. So be prepared with a contingency budget set aside to cover any unexpected costs or expenses.
Test, test and test!
Train, test, and train more. The contingency budget mentioned above may come in handy when you are allocating time and money for training of both managers and workforce employees. Do not go live with your new software until your workforce is adequately trained. Run as many tests as possible, and repeat training as needed. More time and money invested in training before going live will reduce wasted time and money after your new software is up and running.
Don’t pull out the plug immediately!
If you’re switching from one system to another (rather than adopting new software from scratch) you may want to consider running both systems concurrently for a short time. It might be a hassle, but in some situations, this may protect from mistakes made by your employees as they work towards full adoption of the new system.
Implementing new operational software in your company can be a daunting task. There are many pitfalls that can be overlooked, and many things that can go wrong. But, like all strategic maneuvers in business, planning ahead and planning for the unexpected will make a big difference. Just follow the above pointers and construct a thorough implementation plan, and much of the hassle can be avoided!