If you’re responsible for buying software for your business, you’re familiar with the challenges the process entails. Extensive research and effective vendor management are essential to purchasing the right software for your organization. Even more important, however, is getting buy-in and managing change effectively. The following tips from ArturoFM will help you buy the right software.
Seek Buy-In With Compelling Business Reasons
Take a step back and think about how the technology will benefit the entire company. Even if only a section of your staff will use the software, consider how it factors into your business’s bottom line. Stakeholders are more likely to support the purchase when you have clear business reasons to back it.
For example, your business's reason for automating a fully manual process could be to improve productivity. Or, your business reason for buying software might be to enhance the capabilities of a team that lacks the functionality, time, or expertise to achieve their goals. Perhaps you want to monitor the performance of new hires as they undertake training courses.
The cost-to-value ratio is another important concept to articulate when seeking buy-in. Purchasing new software introduces an additional system for the staff to adopt and an additional vendor for it to manage. Buy the new software only if you’re confident the value it adds justifies the changes you'll need to make to your processes, habits, and hardware infrastructure.
Get buy-in before you buy the software. You want everyone in the company to understand the positive and negative impacts the software will have on their work. Let them know why it’s worth it in the end.
Muster the Troops
Regardless of the extent of experience and knowledge you have about purchasing software, you still need help. Your IT team can help you purchase the right software and implement it successfully. Include them in the purchasing process. Find out how they’re currently dealing with the problems you believe the software will solve.
You also stand to benefit from the expertise of your finance, legal, and security teams, as they may point out blind spots in the software purchasing process. In addition to getting help from these teams, assign a project manager to the software purchasing process.
Stakeholders are more likely to adopt the new software when you incorporate their feedback throughout the purchasing process. You don’t need to consider every single opinion. Rather, take note of concerns that arise often. Document and share the decision-making process to avoid push-back when it’s finally time to pull the trigger.
Practice Transparency and Empathy
Most people struggle to adapt to change. Even if they look forward to using new software, they may still worry about how the software will change their work. So, undertake the purchasing and implementation processes with transparency and empathy.
For example, suppose your team members value organization and processes. In this case, let them know it’s going to be a challenging transition that may involve unknowns and disorganization in the initial stages. Allowing your teams and employees to share their concerns openly may improve the process of adopting the new technology.
Furthermore, ensuring the project is open to feedback from employees and teams can help steer its direction. Taking this approach creates a sense of togetherness that may help drive the project through the difficult phases.
These tips will set you on the right path when purchasing new software for your organization, regardless of your experience with vendor management or your team's initial enthusiasm for the project. Purchasing software can be challenging, but done right, it can create immense value for your team, your colleagues, and the entire organization.