getting your team on board

Adopting new software: let’s get your team on board!

So you found this wonderful solution to all your problems at work… or at least some of them. And you’re so excited about it, you can’t wait to tell your entire team!

Before you do, you might want to consider this: bringing new software into your organization can definitely increase productivity and help your team focus more on their work and less on things like administration. But getting your entire team on board could be a real challenge.

We’ll give you a couple of tips so you can start off on the right foot and make your transition to new software a success!

1. Understand why people are so skeptical

Embracing new technology can sometimes be a slow process, especially if not everyone is as excited about the new solution as you are. If the system you’re currently using is working okay(-ish) for your team, chances are some of them will try to avoid having to learn how to use new software.

Some people may just not be that tech-savvy, others might want to stick to their old habits. It’s important for you to understand why they are so reluctant to adopt the new solution and help them make the transition in spite of it.

2. Include your team in the process

Don’t just present your solution as a done deal: include your team when selecting a new software solution. If you’re doing a free trial, invite some of your colleagues to test the app with you and give their feedback. Or if you’re booking a product demo, use it to the fullest extent and let people join in so they can ask all of their questions directly.

Learn why a software demo can make all the difference.

3. Identify early adopters

Instead of rolling out the software to your entire team – this is especially true for medium to large organizations – like a big bang, focus on getting a core group on board first. Identify early adopter in each team, people who are particularly tech-savvy or just people whom you noticed to be (almost) as excited as you were when announcing the new software.

Once this small group is familiar with using the software, it will be easier for you to gradually introduce it to the rest of the company. Ideally, you’d have at least one early adopter per team: they know their colleagues better than you do and will be able to help them settle in to the new routine.

4. Emphasize on what’s in it for them

Once you have decided on what software you’ll be using, tell your team why you made that choice and what’s in it for them. Emphasize how this software will benefit the entire organization and make their lives at work a lot easier.

Try not to focus on the features the software offers but try to focus on the outcomes it will bring instead:

  • “You’ll be able to answer difficult questions about equipment and availability from anywhere”
  • “You’ll be able to prevent equipment mishaps, like the time when everything was double booked”
  • “You won’t have to print the project calendar anymore, everything gets synced magically to your calendar”
  • “You’ll have more time to spend on your projects!”

5. Plan training

It is crucial to plan enough time for both training sessions and experimenting with the app individually.

Start with a short session where you guide the team through the most important sections of the new software. Invite them to create their own account by the next session and, during that second session, have them accomplish a couple of simple tasks like making an equipment reservation, creating a task and assigning it to someone – depending on the type of software you are introducing, of course.

If certain features are only relevant to part of your team, plan a separate training session for them. No one wants to spend time learning about things that are not relevant to them.

Give access to the slides or other info used in each training session and give everyone the necessary space to learn at their own pace.

6. Provide help

Make sure slow-learners or less tech-savvy people in your organization can ask their questions. If you don’t have time to answer all the questions yourself, identify an early adopter in each team and ask them to help out with onboarding the software.

If the same questions keep popping up, it might be a good idea to plan an extra group learning sessions. Let employees sign up for the optional sessions and submit their questions in advance.

6. Set a deadline

Give people the necessary time to adjust to the new software, especially if you’re transitioning from one software to another. Do set a final deadline and clearly communicate that from that day on, the old system will no longer be in place.

Encourage colleagues to start using the software before the deadline. If you’re using a project management tool, for instance, update everyone’s to-do list in the tool or – if you’re implementing new software to manage the company equipment, give early adopters first choice when it comes to bookings gear.

Conclusion: put people first

If you want your new software to work for your organization and your team, it is crucial to invest the necessary time and effort in its implementation. In doing so, you should focus on the people that are going to be using the software: provide enough background information on why you are making this transition and how it will have a positive impact on their work, give them all the tools they need to adapt to the new working situation and listen to their needs.

It doesn’t matter how much you love the software and how big a difference you think it could make for your organization, if your team is not on board, the software doesn’t stand a chance.

It’s up to you know. Good luck!

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