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5 Ways to Develop a Successful Software Implementation Plan

July 13, 2023


At WillDom, we take software implementation plans as seriously as software development.

Replacing old applications with new software can increase your employee’s productivity and quality of work. However, executing this process successfully can be challenging.

The best way to ensure your organization integrates the appropriate application while minimizing downtime is to follow a comprehensive software implementation plan. A solid plan lets you establish detailed steps to integrate the latest technology into your business workflows.

Let us help you properly set up that new software so your business can become more efficient, profitable, and easier to interact with.

What Is a Software Implementation Plan?

A software implementation plan is a structured approach to integrating a software system into your operations. It includes everything from finding and deploying the right software for your business needs to software training, having ongoing support, and ensuring a successful rollout overall.

If your company relies on software for operations, data management, customer relations, or other vital functions of your day-to-day operations, it’s crucial to have an implementation plan for new software.

Why do you Need a Software Implementation Plan?

As well as improving your team’s efficiency, a successful software implementation plan keeps things flowing and prepares you for any issues with minimal downtime. By having a structured approach to managing and mitigating the risks associated with software integration, you can ensure a smooth transition and efficient use of the recent software.

The 5 Steps to Create a Successful Software Implementation Plan

We know that adopting new software is both time-consuming and costly in terms of finances and human resources.

Going live with your new or updated software can include training, possible workflow changes, and compatibility with other company systems. The amount of work needed will depend on how different the latest software is from the old and how many departments or systems it affects.

With a properly developed plan in place, you can:

  • Avoid making hasty decisions.
  • Ensure the correct people are involved in the software implementation process.
  • Configure the system correctly.
  • Maximize software usage.

Here are our 5 must-have steps to ensure a successful implementation process:

#1 Outlining the most relevant aspects of the project

To start outlining your software implementation project plan, you can first look at the details you identified when you selected the recent software. Then, you can do the following:

  • Remember the new software’s long-term benefits for your company, team members, and customers.
  • Consider how this software addresses short-term necessities. 
  • Make a list of what you need for the launch, including deadlines.
  • Check with other vendors to ensure everything works together. Ask yourself: What other software does this project interact with? Where does this software fit in current workflows?
  • Consider what team members will work with or be affected by this software.
  • Train your team, choosing days when your project team is also available.
  • Think about the best day to launch.
  • Write a clear plan with steps, deadlines, and who needs to do what.

#2. A/B testing

In the A/B testing phase of your software implementation, begin by creating clear launch communications, establishing a secure testing environment, and designing detailed training programs. Engage with your developers and all relevant vendors to discuss and prepare for potential challenges. It’s essential to update and back up all pertinent preparation systems for the launch.

Simultaneously, identify and assign experts in each department using the new software. These individuals will be briefed on the goals and timelines and will play a key role in the training process. Their involvement is vital for facilitating a smooth implementation, as they can offer valuable insights from their department’s perspective and help communicate objectives to their colleagues.

Finally, establish a straightforward and non-judgmental protocol for reporting any software issues. This will help identify and address problems quickly, ensuring a smooth transition and practical software functionality.

#3. Get your team ready for software implementation

Preparing your team for software implementation involves clear and early communication about upcoming changes.

If team members have been part of the creation process, provide them with updates on the project implementation plan.

For those team members who will be hearing about it for the first time, emphasize the benefits of the new software. Focus on how the software will alleviate pain points, save time, or simplify daily tasks. Highlighting these benefits will help create excitement and reduce resistance to change. This approach ensures that your team is informed and motivated to implement the recent software.

Also, ensure thorough testing and training sessions are included. These are essential to familiarizing the team with the new system and ensuring a smooth transition.

#4. Perform more testing and get more people involved

To ensure a successful software implementation, establish a safe, isolated environment for testing the new software. Before thorough testing, avoid using actual client data or integrating it with other operational software.

During this phase, begin training team leaders and observe how different departments interact with the system. This observation will aid in tailoring the training to specific departmental requirements, particularly if you’re testing project management software. Given that it will be used to track the progress of your projects across the company.

Use this phase as an opportunity for debugging, and encourage your developers to record all feedback. This comprehensive approach to testing and training ensures safety and builds excitement and confidence among employees, paving the way for a smoother launch and continuous improvement.

#5. Launch

When launching your software, be prepared for unexpected challenges, despite thorough testing. View any issues that arise as opportunities for improvement rather than setbacks. Using established protocols for addressing bugs and issues will help in this process.

It’s essential to have a safety net in place during the launch to handle any unforeseen difficulties smoothly.

After the launch, actively gather data and feedback to refine and enhance the software continuously. Celebrate the launch to acknowledge the efforts and achievements of your team. By following these steps, you aim to achieve a successful launch with happy team members, seamless technological integration, and enhanced efficiency.

Create a Robust Software Implementation Process Plan with WillDom

Is your company transitioning to new software? Our software implementation team can help make this easy! Thanks to our expertise, we provide software solutions tailored to your needs, helping you seamlessly transition to cutting-edge technology.

We can help you implement software that improves efficiency and innovation for your business. Contact WillDom today to start moving your company forward.

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