1 White Paper The Road to Successful Software Adoption By Christopher Smith, WalkMe
2 Table of Contents Introduction: The Power of Certainty The Importance of Simplicity in Effective Software Adoption and Implementation Strategy Get Organized Data Migration and Conversion System Integration Functional Testing & Unit Testing Strategize Training Documentation and Support Monitoring & Analytics Conclusion: Bringing it All Together About WalkMe
3 Choosing and purchasing the right business software are important decisions within the life of any enterprise 50% of project had cost overruns 60% did not meet their schedule 60% did not receive half of their expected benefits Introduction: The Power of Certainty The Importance of Simplicity in Effective Software Adoption & Implementation Strategy INTRODUCTION - THE CHALLENGE: Choosing and purchasing the right business software are important decisions within the life of any enterprise company. Each platform, whether an ERP, CRM platform, HR software, or something else have to be carefully weighed and evaluated as to which might be the best fit for the company, in terms of functionality, accessibility, pricing and more. Yet, once they decided on which software to choose, discussion and strategizing turns to how to effectively implement the software and to onboard new users. To be clear, we are talking about a difficult, complex and time-consuming process, one which is far from a guaranteed success. Even in the cloud era, when SaaS software has become a dominant force in enterprise software, implementation isn t a walk in the park. For example, here are some statistics related to ERP and SaaS-based ERP implementation success rates: Success Rates: ERP & SaaS-based ERP Implementation Panorama consulting ERP (26% cloud) success rate survey from September 2012 to January 2013: 50% of projects had cost overruns 60% did not meet their schedule 60% did not receive half of their expected benefits Diginomica draws this conclusion from other observations: In reality, the cloud hasn t changed the difficulty of bringing new practices into any organization and bringing team members upto-speed with new ways of working.
4 They cite the main reason as lack of skills with the products and lack of professional services from these new companies due to the fact that these are young companies who have not had time to grow that part of their business. PURPOSE OF THIS PAPER: Sort the workload based upon what is most important, taking into consideration benefit versus cost So with the challenges well-known, once you have selected a SaaS vendor and application, what is the best-practices approach to ensuring a successful implementation? How can you align the new platform and product with the rest of the firm s business and IT strategy? This white paper will present a roadmap to effective software adoption and implementation. Along the way, I will present a series of steps that are necessary during the implementation process. I will also explain how WalkMe, an online guidance and engagement platform, will assist you in more easily and successfully onboarding users to the new software, and make sure they can focus on using the software productively, relieved on wondering HOW to operate each function. I hope you find it valuable and that it will help bring your team toward new heights. We ll go into detail in a moment, but to begin, let s look at just a couple of starting points: Select an Implementation Strategy If a project does not follow a well-defined methodology, there is the tendency to get off track and spend time working on items that are not core functions. This can results in delays and going over budget. So an implementation strategy needs to be selected before you start. Its focus should be simplicity. Keep it Simple; Focus on What is Important; Dump the Rest The best approach is the simplest approach. One can look at the field of statistics and adopt the Pareto principle (also called the 80/20 rule) or look at rapid development methodologies like Agile or Scrum. These approaches do not spend time on every
5 desired feature. Peripheral or nice-to-have functions do not yield measurable gains over sticking with what is most important. Focus is important when going through complex processes, introducing new software until now unfamiliar to your team members, enable them to keep an eye on the prize and learn the essential elements, while saving less common processes and less critical knowledge until later on. Focus on Effective User Onboarding and Knowledge Management Anything pushed to the side could be tossed out completely It s important that training your team members on how to use the new software is, on the one hand, as fast as possible, but also that it leave a lasting impact. Part of the challenge of user adoption on a new software is, on the hand, fear that is the uncomfortability of having to learn something new and unfamiliar. From the other side, the way to get over that fear is through good communication and training users in how to use the new software in a way that doesn t overwhelm them with too much information right away, as well as delivers key knowledge when they need it the most. Knowledge equals confidence, and you are responsible for fostering that confidence. The idea of the Pareto principle is very much relevant to software onboarding and knowledge management in the long term focus on what is most important. How to best ensure that happens we will discuss in more detail. The Take Away: The take away from these methodologies and the Pareto principle is sort the workload based upon what is most important, taking into consideration benefit versus cost. Keep a list of the most common and critical business processes (work tasks on the software) that users will have to perform. As one selects tasks and assigns resources given timelines, anything pushed to the side could be tossed out completely. This helps to keep the process of adopting and implementing the new software simpler, thus more likely to succeed.
6 Get Organized Find Executive Level Sponsor Only someone at the executive level can affect change across the organization No project will enjoy success, unless it finds a sponsor. If this is an enterprise endeavor then it cannot by definition be run by a departmental manager; only someone at the executive level can affect change across the organization. Organize Steering Committee You need a steering committee to write a project charter, outline the scope of the project, document the business reason why it is necessary, and write clear goals for which the sponsor is responsible for signoff. The project leader has to have a strong personality to battle entrenched interests, smooth over people who are reluctant to change Select Project Manager & Leader The next task is to assign a project manager and project lead. The project manager s task is to work with the project lead to lay out a schedule, define what resources are needed and when to bring them on board, and set milestones. Pick the Right Person The project leader has to have a strong personality to battle entrenched interests, smooth over people who are reluctant to change, and navigate company politics. He or she will prevent people from working on items that are out of scope. He or she can quickly determine which team members are the best engineers and leaders and give them responsibility to mentor or oversee the work of others. Layout Schedule, Milestones, and Resources If the SaaS cloud-service provider is already selected, you presumably have already decided whether to work with a systems integrator. These people are resources available to add to the work plan. The project lead is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the project.
7 Data Migration & Conversion The SaaS service provider should provide a development, test, and production environment Plan Data Migration The project needs to plan what data needs to be migrated to the SaaS system and how. The architect can lead this effort with input from the developers. Most SaaS systems will include some kind of bulk loader or web services interface, so that the programmers can load data into the new system without having to write something overly complicated. Based Upon Gap Analysis: Bolt-ons & New Environments The SaaS service provider should provide a development, test, and production environment where the team can work on extensions to the product and work with the SaaS vendor to install any bolt-on third-party solutions and do unit and functional testing. Gap analysis should have been completed in the vendor-evaluation stage to figure out what additional software is needed for the business. Many SaaS platforms, Salesforce.com, for example, have partnered with lots of companies that offer such bolt-ons. System Integration Connect to Upstream & Downstream Systems: Stick with Packages Tools It is best to use some kind of common interface software rather than write lots of custom programs. There is the need to establish points where the system must connect to downstream and upstream systems. For example, the order entry system should connect to the shipping system which should connect to warehouse management. Each of these systems will have predefined interfaces or, in the absence of that, interfaces that require custom programs.
8 It is best to use some kind of common interface software rather than write lots of custom programs. Batch programs, in particular, tend to not alert anyone when they stop working or when the data transfer mechanism fails. For file transfer and messaging, the project should adopt something dependable, like OpenMQ. Functional Testing & Unit Testing TDD for Custom Code Development model called Test- Drive Development (TDD) that you can use for system integration There is a kind of development model called Test-Drive Development (TDD) that you can use for system integration. This puts functionality ahead of programming. This focuses the programmer s efforts on passing the test, which by definition keeps the development targeted on a specific business goal. SaaS: Traditional Testing Approach for SaaS Packaged Software For SaaS (packaged software), the program is already written, so there is little or no development, only configuration. SMEs configure it to meet your business needs. For that, a mix of TDD and traditional testing approaches can be used. Write & Execute: Functional Testing & Unit Testing Developers write code to do unit tests that checks specific parts of the program. The functional test persons write test cases that focus on requirements. They execute those tests plus do endto-end testing that ensures that the system integrates with upstream and downstream systems.
9 People are human, and they learn by repetition and through practical application of the knowledge transferred to them. It would be better to give, say, one day of training every two weeks so that the employees are exposed to the new system in digestible chunks. Strategize Training The Basic Principle: Keep Training Short; Do Not Give it Too Early; Give a Test at the End Continuous Learning: Training does not just mean sending employees to a training class early in the project and then dropping that. Even if classroom training is less of your focus, implementing more e- learning in the initial training period, it s important to remember that training should be ongoing and frequent. Continuous Learning as it is sometimes referred to in the world of employee training. In other words you need to adopt a strategy towards training. Proper Timing: Close monitoring of user success, particularly in the early stages provides a good analysis Too much information, given all at once and too early, will just make people forget what they have learned, when the software goes live. People are human, and they learn by repetition and through practical application of the knowledge transferred to them. A better strategy would be as follows. Give a short, initial training period, focusing only on how to perform a few key processes, getting onboarded, and to focus on the big picture sales (or marketing or customer success) strategy. But do NOT focus too much on getting every process right immediately. As mentioned, forgetting as soon as the initial training period ends is an issue. Once the initial training period ends, focus on a performance support strategy. Performance support technology helps to put forward the accurate information and admittance to that information into the hands of your personnel, at the most appropriate time as and when it is required by them.
10 Performance support technology is basically aimed at arming your workforce with some tools so as to increase their output on the whole and help them to successfully perform the job assigned to them. It is objected to provide the most suitable quantity of task leadership, help and efficiency benefits to the employee exactly at the time of need. Instead of extensive classroom sessions and long video tutorials, employees are placed on the front lines and work a typical day. They are then given tools that help them tackle practical tasks and learn how to address them in real time, exactly in the moment of need. There are certain programs out there that are designed for this specific purpose, and can be paired with other training techniques to promote a faster learning phase. Bonus Tip: Utilize software like WalkMe, which provides direct and onscreen assistance in the exact moment of need. WalkMe provides a series of real-time instructions that enable the user to successfully learn and perform any software task, no matter how complex. This allows user to get up to speed to begin working quickly, while still being able to quickly and simply retrieve necessary information when they need it. Due Diligence: Make sure that training directly correlates to task performance. There needs to be due diligence, meaning give a test, to make sure people have been paying attention. Close monitoring of user success, particularly in the early stages provides a good analysis of what seems to be working well and where there remains room for improvement. Demonstrate Value: A key point though is to make sure that training directly correlates to task performance. Make sure it is not too theoretical or complex. Keep it simple and directly relevant to
11 everyday tasks. In that way, managers and employees will succeed. WalkMe platform also provides a valuable tool to complementation traditional documentation, by providing a longterm self-help tool for users to receive direct assistance, without having to break from momentum to wait or search for help. When the system goes live, it is necessary to deploy a monitoring system Documentation & Support The Basic Principle: Build Documentation into Signoff Process; Use Social-media as Support Tool Build it In: Most people do not like to do documentation. So it should be built into the signoff process. Social Media: The documentation system should include a social media type interface, so that it becomes a tool for ongoing support. This lets people post questions and issues online and have coworkers or vendor support people respond using a Facebook like presentation. That is easier than using the phone and more reliable than . Returning to WalkMe, the platform also provides a valuable tool to complementation traditional documentation, by providing a long-term self-help tool for users to receive direct assistance, without having to break from momentum to wait or search for help. Monitoring & Analytics
12 Monitoring: Use analytics to measure performance, to spot trends, and to make forecasts Deploy a monitoring system for uptime and security. When the system goes live, it is necessary to deploy a monitoring system to make sure that all the interconnected applications are working within thresholds and are up and running and not being hacked. Analytics: Use analytics to measure performance, to spot trends, and to make forecasts Bonus Tip: WalkMe Analytics also provide comprehensive monitoring and analysis of user performance in software onboarding. The transactional data that the system accumulates over time is a treasure trove of information that can be used to find statistical anomalies (meaning operating outside norms), spot trends, and make forecasts. This helps with business strategic planning and can determine whether the system is operating in optimal fashion and delivering promised improvements in productivity. Bonus Tip: WalkMe Analytics also provide comprehensive monitoring and analysis of user performance in software onboarding. Which tasks have they required assistance? How long did it take for them to master that function? How many steps were required? WalkMe Analytics is an indispensable tool in finding these answers, and as a result, will enable managers to customize performance assistance to meet each employee s needs. Testing is paramount; document, training, and ongoing support are critical. One Conclusion: Bring it All Together In sum, implementing a new software is best done by following the best practices adopted by other businesses and organizations and keeping it simple. There is the need for executive sponsorship and steering committee oversight. One needs a strong team leader. Because a new system needs to
13 be integrated with other systems, there needs to be a systems integration effort. Testing is paramount; document, training, and ongoing support are critical. One should deploy software to monitor the system for reasons of security and reliability. Finally, the data accumulated over time should be subjected to analysis, so that it can yield valuable business insights. About WalkMe WalkMe provides a cloud-based platform designed to help managers to guide and engage employees through any online experience. WalkMe simplifies software usage, in providing direct step-by-step guidance at the moment of need, so that users can work efficiently and successfully. Through a series of interactive tip balloons overlaid on the screen, tasks are broken down into short, step-by-step guided instructions, which help users act, react and progress during their software usage. As a result, WalkMe helps enterprises streamline software changes in a way that is smooth, easy and ensures that employees stay productive and successful. WalkMe s platform onboards new users faster and helps them successfully apply what they learn on any software, in the moment of need. No need for lengthy training sessions, and no need for massive migration or IT helpdesk costs. WalkMe helps employees perform the most important tasks, no matter how complex.
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