Struggle No More - Software Adoption Tips For a Successful Implementation
One of the most frequent questions we get asked by real estate management companies newly using our software is, “Now that we have purchased Synlio to make our RFPs easy, how can we make sure our employees actually use the program?”
Good question. And if you do a quick Google search for ‘how to adopt software’ you’ll see that this is a common struggle. You just invested in a chance to make your team more efficient, and yet they’re stuck in their old ways.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your staff accept and adopt the new software. Follow these steps and watch your team achieve success in implementing that shiny new software you just purchased.
Get Over the Hump
Before the steps, it’s important to realize something about adopting software: it’s hardest in the beginning. It sounds obvious, but your first interactions with a new software system are going to be the most difficult since you don’t have experience with it yet. Again, it sounds like common sense but if you can visualize the task of learning a new software as a hill (or a hump) to climb and get over, then you’ll also realize that once you come over the top, it’s all downhill from there, as they say. So just get over the hump of the initial pain, and you’ll be smooth sailing and better off than you were previously (that’s the whole point of software, right!).
And now, the steps to take to ensure software adoption in your company:
1. Provide Executive Support
In order to make sure your team is fully committed, management needs to be fully committed. Owners, VPs, Directors, Managers— everyone needs to be on board and ready to put in the work to make sure the staff “gets over the hump” and gets to the downhill side of learning the program. By requiring use of the new system, executives can help the company past the initial painful phase of adoption.
2. Share Benefits and Reason
Talk to your team about why there is a need for this new program. Show them examples of how it will make them better at what they do. Giving a foundation of logic will lead to more employees willing to go through the pain to reach the desired goal.
3. Cultivate “Super Users”
Find staff members who would be really good at using the system, maybe some people who are a little more technical or who are already warm to the idea of the new program. Then make them “Super Users” within your organization. Give them access to more training, and more tools, as well as more contact with the RFP software company themselves. These Super Users will aide adoption by helping other staff who may struggle with the new program. Oftentimes staff will feel more comfortable going to somebody they know as opposed to calling into a support line for a software company they don’t yet believe in.
4. Give Recognition, Stories of Success, and Tips
Just as you seek customer reviews and testimonials, do the same with your staff. When somebody does something well in the new system (preferably not a Super User so others can see that anyone can do this), recognize them at a team meeting. Even give them an award for adopting the software so early. Then ask them what they did that worked well so they can tell the story. Have them or your Super Users share tips and tricks they’ve found that have helped them. Do all of this early on in the process so people can see the learning can happen quickly. All of these will show others that they can succeed with the new system.
5. Commit Totally
In order to really make sure your company sticks with the new software you just implemented, make a total commitment to it. You’ve already spent time and money evaluating if this is the best real estate software program for you, then even more money training on the system, so now you need to make it work. Get over that initial hump by making a commitment to not go back – that is to say that once you’ve made the move, don’t go back to the old way. There is a tendency for staff to slip back into old habits if there is a time crunch saying it will just be this one time. But this one time happens again…and again…and eventually they’re never using the new software anymore and the adoption chance is lost. Don’t let it happen. Once you’ve made the switch, don’t ever go back.
So there you have it. At Synlio we work with our Members on exactly these solutions so that their RFP software implementation goes extremely well. Follow these simple steps and your new software program will be a regular part of your workflow in no time.