Change can be a good thing. Hopefully it means your business is in the growth stage and you need to improve a certain aspect of the business, be it hardware, software, or general processes and policies. But as the old saying goes, change doesn’t happen overnight and as a result, change can bring about a fair amount of business disruption. It is this disruption that can have lasting affects on whether the change is deemed successful and your overall return, not to mention the affect on your staff.
So, why is there a need to manage the process when it comes to changing and implementing software?
One of the biggest factors when it comes to a successful software implementation is your staff. Quite simply, if you don’t have their buy-in then any change will be likely derailed, regardless of how great it looks on paper. These are the people that are using the software day in, day out, if they aren’t on board or are unhappy with the change then you could see it has a negative and disruptive affect on the business.
Your staff need to be involved in the entire process and managed along the way with effective communication. They certainly don’t want to feel you are changing things for change sake nor have something rammed down their throat they’re not comfortable with. Effective change management will ease all of this.
Sticking to budgets and timeframes
Every software implementation, whether on a small or large scale, will have a budget and need to be delivered within certain timeframes. It just makes business sense. That’s why change management is so critical – if there is no one to manage or lead the change then you could easily see the project slowly drift on and on, sucking both time and money away from the business.
Change management is also key for any software implementation as it will enable you and the business to mitigate any risks before the project goes ahead, during the implementation and, if needed, after as well. As a result of your extensive planning and research, before ‘go-live’ you will have a much better understanding of where things could go wrong and any pain points along the way that you will need to navigate your way around. You will also be in better shape to deal with anything that comes up unexpectedly after as well. And believe us when we say every software change will throw up something. How ready you are for it and how you deal with it is what defines the project.
Get the desired outcome
You can sit and plan all you like, putting everything in place, but if there is no change management in place during the actual change and after it, how do you know you are getting what you want? You need to ensure during the software implementation, and after, that what has been implemented is exactly what you wanted and that it can do what you need it to now that it’s live and being used legitimately. Does it actually work how you need it to? Now that it’s live, is it actually making efficiencies as you thought it would, giving you the desired return? Without change management, something is more likely to go wrong along the way and you probably wouldn’t know about it till later or know how to manage with it.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.