Best practices for software implementation

Implementing Software for You

4 Key Things to Consider when Implementing Software Solutions

How to get the most out of your SaaS solutions.

Many software as a service providers are often caught between building products that can tackle complex problems while making sure their products are still easy to use. This often results in hidden functionality that may not be discoverable to the end user. At Simple But Needed we take simplicity seriously and always try to make sure our product features are easily accessible and explained in our help documentation. However we also know we might not be the only software partner in your life, that’s why we put together our top 4 tips for implementing software solutions—to make sure you get the most out of any product you roll out with your team. 

1. Take the time up front

While this step might seem the most obvious, it may also be the most important: often by the time you’re ready to implement a software solution you probably feel like you’re coming to the end of a long road. Perhaps your journey to select a provider included reviewing a number of RFP’s (request for proposals), maybe you had to analyze a handful of service options on your own; whatever the case many team leads feel exhausted once they’ve finally made a selection and are ready to just be done with the project. However many teams don’t realize that product launch is the most critical indicator of success of a service rollout: teams that struggle to adopt a solution quickly are more likely to give up in search of a different solution.

In order to make sure your team recognizes the benefits of the awesome solution you’ve selected, you want to take the time up front to make sure you get the implementation details right. The more you can automate up front for your team, the more they’ll recognize the value of the service and become its champions internally. Team members who benefit from a product are much more likely to look for other ways it can make their lives easy and help encourage its use amongst themselves.

2. Ask questions

If there are features you know your service provider called out during their demos, or you’ve seen called out on their website make sure you know how to use it. It’s easy to make sure your primary use cases are taken care of and assume you’ll figure the rest out later but a good software partner is invested in making sure you can take full advantage of their product and excited to drive your success. More often than not they likely have documentation to point you towards: maybe the thing you’re looking for is right under your nose. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about functionality you’re having trouble finding, a good software partner knows your journey together is just beginning.

3. Build on current process

It’s easy when launching a new program internally to feel like you’re starting from square one; but if you’re seeking a software solution to a problem it’s likely you’ve already developed some processes internally for it. Even if you’re documenting safety walkthroughs with a clipboard today, there are probably things about your current process that may work well. Make sure to gather feedback from your team about what’s working well for them and use that as the foundation for success moving forward. A good software solution should feel familiar in the ways that are good while smoothing the rougher edges of your old process: view the product rollout as the next step in your evolution instead of a ground up replacement. 

4. Don’t “set it and forget it”

A good software partner will make sure they’re always providing opportunities to keep you on the cutting edge of industry standards but it’s up to you to make sure you’re taking advantage of those opportunities. No team wants to be left behind and no process is perfect, while you want to take the time up front to fine tune your jumping off point, you may also want to schedule quarterly check-ins with the team to see how the process could be made even better. Often team members who interact with a product daily will find new ways to save time and energy in the field, if they have suggestions for new uses you might want to hear about them. If you’re not sure these requests are something the product is already capable of, be sure to reach out to your software partner—chances are the feature may already be on their roadmap!