There was once a famous philosopher called Mick Jagger.
Ok, he is not a philosopher.
But one of his songs has a title that is true for every person on this planet.
Old Habits Die Hard
He is right, isn’t he?
Changing the software in your business is also something resembling this. Old habits just die hard. But there must be a smooth way to change the software you are using right now. Do you want to learn the smooth way? No? That’s weird, but I’m going to talk about software rollout anyway.
What is a Software Rollout Plan?
Software rollout plan refers to the plan for implementing new software (or changing the existing one) in your business for the first time. In other words, it means introducing new software to make it easier for your employees to work on the tasks. It is a process that should be run with all seriousness.
Software rollout is not only a simple change that is made in your choice of software, but it is also a change in the employees’ habits.
In this regard, you need first to understand the needs and struggles of your employees to be better able to run the process.
Why is it important to have a solid plan for the software rollout?
If you assume that the new software you are bringing is highly beneficial for your company, not having a solid plan for software rollout will result in less adoption of the software. Next, your company will not get the job done more efficiently and effectively. So, you will be in a situation where you will waste money due to your mistake of not creating a successful software rollout.
What to include in a Software Rollout Plan
If you want to create a rollout plan that will guide you to glory, you must include some key points to make people ready for the transition. These key points are;
- Announcing it first. The rollout should not come as a surprise for the people.
- Give them roles and responsibilities. The people who are undergoing a change should also be monitoring the process.
- Set up deadlines and milestones. This way, people can track the change.
- A timeline of training sessions. While the transition happens, people need to get to know the new software.
- Ask for feedback. People want to be heard by you in this period.
7 Steps to a Successful Rollout Plan
Before the inclusion of the key points above, you must come up with a plan. You have to check these steps if you want to be successful in this attempt.
1- A Shared Objective
The first thing you should come up with is an objective. Your employees must explicitly understand this objective. If not, they might oppose what you are trying to do.
2- State the Possible Hindrances
By looking at the previous attempts to bring a new software, projecting how it will affect the current situation and understanding which business practices might oppose you, you can pinpoint what can be a hindrance for your software rollout plan.
For example, if business processes are not helping you, you try to change them for your business’ advancement.
3- Understand the Users
After all, they will be the ones who will use this new software. You can understand their challenges and needs in training sessions by looking at where they give up using software, their engagement rates, and the success of the training. These three can give you more significant insights than you might initially think.
This holds true not only for the people who will be using the software but also for the management. Communication is the key point in this kind of transition period. Open information policy, for example, can be highly beneficial for you and your coworkers.
5- Consultants if Necessary
You should aspire to make this process not stressful for the people in your company. If you want to keep your IT department happy, you might get consultants or other service partners to ease this process.
6- Find Advocates
These advocates will be beneficial for creating a “social group” that will spread the word about the benefits of the new software. This will build excitement revolving around the change and will make the adaptation face less resistance.
In this sense, change management is very crucial to make the adoption process run smoother.
7- Test the Software
With a small testing group ideally made up of randomly selected people, you can see the possible crashes or the bugs in the software. This is important before you completely switch to new software because you will have more time to fix the errors; thus, your business will work normally.
Although your initial response to my question was a no, you just finished reading this blog post. You know how to successfully operate a rollout plan now. Sometimes, change is unavoidable. And, when the time comes for a change, you should know how to break the old habits. For the sake of your own company.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the phases of a rollout?
There are four phases of a rollout. These are initiation, planning, execution, and wrapping up. The planning part is the most crucial phase simply because it needs lots of coordination and detail-oriented working.
How do you create a rollout strategy?
Begin by identifying the current objective, then plan the necessary steps in order not to create a dislike towards your new software. Then, study the past attempts of changing the software. After you have all of these three, you can create a strategy that will work for you.
What is rollout in software development?
The term rollout, in general, means the introduction of a new set of features or new software to the user base. In software development, the term is generally used for the former, albeit the usage of the latter is pretty common.