Tips for preparing for software go-live.
Whether you are a business introducing a TAS (Training Administration) back-office system for the first time; migrating from one or many systems to Enterprise Study, or a learning department introducing an LMS, the implementation of the software has the potential to cause operational disruption. The good news is that most of these disruptions can be avoided with the right preparation.
A software implementation affects stakeholders in many functional areas of your business. Have you thought of them all? Are they engaged in the process? If the new system directly impacts their job function are they prepared for that change?
These basic steps will help you achieve success and ensure all your key users are engaged and ready
- Map out the business processes effected by the system. Take this opportunity, if you don’t have them already, to document your business processes. For example, do you know which parts of your finance process will be affected by the new system? Do you know how your administrators currently manage delegates, cancellations, waiting lists, course material, authorisation workflows? Will these processes change and therefore who needs to be aware of this? Are there any processes that you’ve wanted to change for a long time? Now is an excellent time to review those.
- Engage your HR function, if required and follow a robust change management process. Work out which job role functions are affected by the change and ensure regular communication with those individuals.
- Build a checklist of all the system touch-points; functional; administrative; contractual, in order to include these elements in your implementation, e.g. will any third parties be affected by the change? Do you need to give notice on contracts that you will no longer require? Which internal departments do you need to consider? What information should you start collating to help populate the system ready for go-live (Instructor details, courses, resources, location addresses, finance details…)? A checklist will help you think of all possibilities and the actions you need to take prior to and following go-live.
- Ensure that employees understand their new business processes.Training on the software will be provided by Enterprise Study, but system training only goes so far. The processes that an employee may follow in order to perform a daily task might drastically change. Even positive changes, such as reducing administration, can have the potential for negative feedback. Ensure you fully understand how each business process will look in the new system and their roles and responsibilities once the new system goes live. Remember that your team will not have the same perspective as the people that have just gone through the procurement process. Change can be scary.
- Ensure Users have accepted all of the new processes and functionalities of the new system before you go-live. If your implementation has bespoke design elements you will go through a UAT (User Acceptance Testing) process with your Enterprise Study Implementation Manager. Schedule this into key stakeholders diaries to ensure all functional areas are tested appropriately.
- Set realistic deadlines and identify and react to any warning signs where things may go wrong.
By considering these points you will be greatly minimising the odds of disrupting your business operations, maintaining productivity and keeping all employees motivated throughout the process.