Top Considerations When Implementing Brand New Software
Posted on: June 5, 2023 | By: Emily Aro | ERP Selection
We are often asked our opinion when clients have the option to become an early adopter of new functionality. Being an early adopter can offer advantages. It allows you to influence and guide development such that it can be more tailored to your specific needs. This is especially important if the new software solves a problem that can’t wait. There can be a tremendous benefit to a long-term relationship with the software vendor. If you determine that the upside to proceeding with an early adoption exceeds the downside, below are our top 3 considerations when implementing brand new software.
Of course, there are also cons. You are the beta tester thus it can take two to three releases to reach a more stable version of the software. New functionality is essential to the survival of any software company. For this reason, they are incentivized to make the experience of being an early adopter a positive experience. The nuance is how to balance the normal kinks and bugs found in new software releases.
Implementing Brand New Software
When we are asked for our opinion on the quality of any software one of our clients is considering, the first place we point them to is our client base that is also using it. This ensures the prospective client gains the most objective view. With new software this may not be possible, so a transparent conversation must occur between the software vendor and the client.
- Was a life cycle approach used in the development of the software?
- What documents or deliverables are available to demonstrate use of the Life Cycle?
- What stage is the development of the software currently in?
- Requirements gathering
- Software construction
- Testing and validation
- Market release
- Is there functionality to test, validate and document or are there just a series of templates?
- And is the software in alpha or beta stage?
- Or are there other early adopter clients you can speak with to gauge their progress?
- Knowing exactly where the new functionality is will allow you to better accurately assess the risk you are taking. Additionally you can better contrast risk with the reward.
Minimize the exposure to mission critical areas
Even with proven software, one of the project goals Logan Consulting counsels is to have the implementation and go-live be as transparent as possible to both our clients customer base and its users. Even with proven software functionality, there are times when customer facing issues or user issues arise when the go live happens. These risks increase significantly with new software functionality. Again, while there may be upside to being an early adopter, it is just as important to minimize the downside. Among the ways our clients have done so is by implementing the new software in a greenfield environment. This limits the new functionality scope to non-mission critical areas or to a limited number of users.
Make sure the organization understands the risk of any new technology and what went into your risk assessment
Even in the best of situations, there are always kinks/bugs that need to be worked out with new functionality. It is important that expectations are properly set among all possibly affected departments/areas. The feedback we’ve had from our clients has been that, except in the most extreme situations, organizations tend to be very understanding of hiccups as long as they were involved in the risk/reward analysis.
By acknowledging the top 3 considerations when implementing brand new software, your company will be well prepared. If the Hippocratic oath for physicians is often summarized as, “first do no harm”, then a CIO oath for early software adoption could be, “First, make sure you are doing your company some good.”
If you are interested in learning more about considerations when implementing brand new software and more, contact us here to find out how we can help you grow your business. You can also email us at email@example.com or call (312) 345-8817.
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