4 min read

Use software effectively

May 1, 2020

Increasing productivity is the main goal when introducing new business software. There is always a process or workflow at an organization that can be improved with the help of a software. When it comes to making decisions on how to introduce an existing software you can go in two directions. Adapt the software to suit your existing process or educate employees in adapting processes to the idea of the software.

In this short post, we will explore the two ways and see which questions must be answered.

Use case

To depict the topic more clearly, I will explain everything based on fictional use case.

Lets say that employees in Company ACME track their time in a Excel sheet. Every month the superior collects the time sheets, reviews and enters them in a summarized Excel sheet in a very time consuming fashion. As he is not able to aggregate information properly from all the time sheets, he is unaware of how much time is spent on each project over the last year. He is well aware of the insufficency, but claims that he has not found a software that suits his needs yet.

There are tons of time tracking tools on the market. The workflow of these tools follows a common pattern. If you do not want to adopt this pattern, it will be difficult to integrate any time tracking software at all. Each software has a different level of customizability.

How should we approach the superior when trying to explain that a software will make his process more efficient?

Introducing new software

As already mentioned the main goal is to increase productivity. We want to merge the software and business workflows, only then there will be an improvement of the process.

Once this idea is understood, we can move on consulting the ACME company.

New software always needs customization. Technical and business requirements must be fulfilled. Applying customization comes at a cost that must be exceeded the productivity gain, otherwise there is not point in introducing a new software.

Adapt software

Adapting the software to business needs is one possibility to merge the two fields.

The limitations are the technical capabilities of the software. If the software does not support critical workflows it should not be evaluated at all. Take it for granted that there are technical limits where the cost of adapting the software grows exponentially.

Educate employees

Educating employees in using the software is essentials to increase acceptance. Whenever employees are introduced to changes there is wide spectrum of how they handle the situation. There is everything from the welcome, frustrated to the quitter or rebel. Having a well structured roadmap and training for introducing the software is key.

Aside from costs a limiting factor might be the motivation of the employees to relearn. The are used to make their job in specific manner and expect to move in the same way. Are they willing to learn how to use the new software? This is the limitation of moving users towards the software workflow.

The ACME superior must understand that he can move his thinking and employees towards a software workflow. This software workflow if applied correctly can increase his business process dramatically.

Summary

In order to introduce a new software successfully and thus increasing productivity, these requirements must be met:

Adpoting a common pattern

Should you processes be unique to the company or follow an industry pattern? Launching a new software means to adopting a common workflow.

Software needs customization

Software always requires customization. The question is how much is company willing and able to pay? Do they adhere to the idea that a software must be runnable out of the box or do they see the point of customization?

Willing to relearn

Launching a new software means change and change means relearn for most poeple. How much are the employees to willing to relearn?

It is not up to the consultant to answer this questions. The must be answered by the company.

Categories:  Business IT

Tags:  software , efficiency , business process , workflow

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