Introducing new software to an organization can be incredibly time consuming, frustrating, and oftentimes impacts the entire business. But with the right software rollout strategy, you can create a shared understanding across the organization, equip staff with key information, and encourage utilization among employees.
We’ve outline key steps to creating a rollout strategy to ensure adoption and engagement from your teams.
Stakeholder Alignment is Key to Success
First and foremost, when selecting and launching a new software solution for your organization, be sure to include the right decision-makers throughout the process. Even if you are the one writing the checks, without buy-in, the tool will likely go unused, burning a hole in your company’s pocket.
Identify the leaders, managers, and top performers to learn how they might use the solution. Send out a survey or set up a meeting to discuss use cases and concerns.
Ask your stakeholders:
Uncovering challenges will help you select the right software for your organization. Input may also uncover insights to include in your communications strategy (ex. We’re very busy but want to use the tool. We need bite-sized, pre-recorded training we can access any time). Your staff will also feel heard and more likely to adopt the chosen software when it comes time to launch.
The Importance of Communication
A great communication strategy is absolutely essential to rolling out new software. By being consistent and clear about the goals of the new software, how to use it, and how to request support, your teams will be more confident and more likely to adapt the technology sooner.
Consider the following ideas to integrate into your rollout plan.
Introduce the software solution during a company-wide meeting or corporate event. By carving out time during a business-wide meeting, you are emphasizing the importance of this tool and how it will help the organization. If you are able to roll out the platform during a larger corporate event, you can position the rollout as a celebration and praise the team that worked on setting the tech up.
During rollout, share why the platform was chosen, the solutions it provides, and how it helps the organization reach its goals. This messaging creates a shared understanding across the organization about the importance of the tool, ensuring utilization.
Set up small group meetings for training and questions. Once the organization is aware of a new software solution, consider scheduling group training so employees can protect time to learn the platform, ask questions, and understand how it applies to their work.
Train managers to check in on adoption progress. Identify key managers throughout the organization to train as super users of your product. By equipping individuals with the skills to help their teams, everyone will get the most out of the platform. This also spreads the distribution of knowledge, making support more accessible for employees.
Request feedback from teams. As part of your rollout strategy, ask your employees how they’re liking and using the platform. This will not only help you identify opportunities for improvement, but also measures the success of your rollout. Requesting feedback doesn’t necessarily mean you’re open to switching platforms but that you seek to understand how leadership can better support its implementation.
Measure, Learn, Adjust
As with any internal communications campaign, you must measure the success of your rollout. How you measure success depends on the goals your team set at the beginning of the project.
Of course, adoption is incredibly important, but consider breaking up adoption by region, department, team, or another important demographic. This may help you uncover important insights into how different teams use the tool or how they responded to the rollout strategy.
You might also find that certain features are being used more than others. Consider further training for under-utilized features or celebrate super users with a recognition program.
Collect both qualitative data – like user sentiment – and quantitative data – adoption rate, usage, etc. – to learn how employees are working. Use these insights to adjust future communications campaigns, select future technology, and improve overall employee engagement.
Successfully Implement Software with Communication
With any significant organizational change, communication is key. Employees want to feel heard and be informed, so requesting input as well as launching a communications campaign is necessary when rolling out a new software. Flexible training, recognition, and feedback loops help adoption rates and give insight into how your teams are working. Measuring your results improve future projects.
With a clear, consistent strategy, you’re sure to have a successful software rollout.