Upgrading any kind of software, no matter what it is, can be a huge commitment. The new program can cost a lot of money, and you have to invest a lot of time making sure your team knows how to use it. Even though purchasing new software can be a big step, it is often the right one.
There are many advantages to upgrading your software. It can simplify processes, it can make you more efficient, and it can help you offer better service to your customers and clients.
But, just because it’s the right decision doesn’t mean you want to deal with the headache of dealing with implementing new software for longer than absolutely necessary.
These tips will make sure you can upgrade your business software with as few growing pains as possible.
Ensure You're Making the Right Decision
Keeping growing pains to a minimum when unrolling new software means making sure you’ve chosen the right software in the first place. If you don’t, you could find yourself wasting more time and money than you were already wasting with the old program!
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Sometimes, it’s easy to know you’ve made the right decision. For example, the new Python 3 is very similar to Python 2, so making the switch should be easy. However, it’s important to make the switch because the official end-of-life date for the Python 2 series is 2020.
When it comes to other software options, you may have to compare different companies and their offerings, but taking the time to mindfully choose the right software will make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible once it is installed.
Train Yourself First
Once you’ve purchased and installed the software, take the time to poke around and use it first. If you don’t want to learn the software alone, consider learning it with your management team.
Understanding the software yourself will make training your employees easier, and it provides them with an expert they can talk to whenever they have a question.
Train the Whole Team
Once you’ve had a chance to play around with the software, it’s time to start training the whole team. This is one of the greatest challenges of implementing new software.
There are some things you can do to make sure the training process goes smoothly. They include:
- Creating a plan for each training session to ensure every aspect of the new program is covered.
- Hosting training sessions regularly, and planning for refresher meetings even after the initial training is complete.
- Cross-training workers, so if one person is gone, you aren't stuck doing their job because you're the only one who knows how.
- Setting goals so you and your employees can enhance the success and have something to celebrate.
Think of training as a process and not a destination, and you’ll be a lot less frustrated as your team makes the transition.
Don't Be Afraid of Asking for Outside Help
Learning new software is a huge challenge. Not to mention, you may think you know it all, but systems are more complex than ever. You may not be taking advantage of every feature that’s available to you!
Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help. That might mean finding more generalized tech support, or it might mean asking the developers of the software to provide you and your team with some training. They can answer your questions and clarify exactly what the software can and can’t do.
Making mistakes is scary. You don’t want to mess things up by making a mistake with the new software, and your employees don’t want their job to be on the line for making a mistake, but it’s important to welcome them while you’re learning.
Mistakes are actually good for us because they can:
- Help you learn the software faster
- Help you remember what to do, and what not to do
- Motivate you to do better
Don’t punish mistakes that are made in the first few weeks, and even the first few months, of using the software—encourage them! By creating a comfortable environment, employees aren’t afraid to take risks with the new software, which will help them learn it more quickly and thoroughly.
Don’t put off purchasing that new software because you dread the weeks and months required to learn it. You can minimize the growing pains associated with learning new software, so you can get back to work and do whatever it is you do more efficiently!
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.