Kate Stevenson: Selecting the Right Software is Critical for Success

October 7, 2021

Why on earth would you undertake a project before a major project?  Because you like punishing yourself?  Because between family, work, friends, hobbies – you just do not have enough to do? Or is it because you love work piled on top of more work? I would love to tell you that selecting software, especially software used by more than one department, does not take much effort. I’d be overjoyed to lay out how it doesn’t take any time on your part (or your team’s part).  I am ecstatic to explain how to snap your fingers and a magical piece of software appears that works flawlessly and your team falls in love with.

Then, I would awake to the “C’mon Man!” ESPN segment. None of those things are possible.  So, why in the world would you spend time selecting software?  For the benefits of course.

First, let’s look at how to build engagement for a software transition.  I often offer to management teams that the most important aspect of a software selection is building engagement and buy-in for the upcoming decision and implementation. It helps tremendously if people feel like they are part of the process.

Second, most companies are in some state of transformation, whether digital, M&A, or adjusting to the pricing climate.  To transform, you need a solid platform or base to build from.  Change rarely happens overnight.  It starts with incremental steps.  When we look at transformation activities, people/teams/departments change at varying speeds.  Selections help build a solid business case for the transform and allow for a more nuanced approach to transformation across an organization.

Lastly, let’s discuss the good ol’ catch-all bucket. Undertaking a process to select software helps define and execute the final steps in the selection.  Items like negotiating licensing and services contracts, aligning project resources for implementation, and building an implementation project plan are critical final steps.  These items help ensure that you have selected the right software “fit” for your organization and the workforce feels prepared (as much as one can be prepared) for a software implementation.