Why new software needs change management & how to plan it

David Wippel

David Wippel

software development

digital buiness

Implementing new software can be an exciting step for your business — especially when you aim to scale and compete. But even before rollout, there's one thing you need to ensure before everyone actually uses the software: a solid change management plan.

Below we cover how you can go about change management at your company and some of its key benefits when it comes to implementing custom software.

Software change management: simple steps to get started

In general, change management is an approach to embracing change at an organizational level (and any disruptions it might bring.) When you plan with it in mind, there is less resistance. And in the long run, it's what will help your business compete. Because no matter if you're going digital, growing, adapting to new regulatory requirements, or adjusting to the broad impact of something like a pandemic or war — you and your team, can handle it better.

A change management plan is also how you overcome the inevitable groan or two from your coworkers when implementing a software change. You encourage them to be a part of the process instead. Here are a few key steps to get you started.

Pick a solution that aligns with your employees' needs

A common problem we've seen is top management implementing new software without accounting for their employees' needs. Maybe it's the latest tech on the block or what the competition is doing. So start by asking yourself: is this new solution something we can all use for the long term?

Here's our take: it's not enough to just introduce new software and hope it'll automatically help you scale. Successfully implementing it means putting your employees' needs first. It's why one of our first steps at TRIGO is a thorough discovery phase to gauge what's working and what isn't for your business software. And part of this process is getting the input of the people using it regularly.

This means taking the time to understand what bottlenecks your employees are running into — and whether you even need a new solution in the first place. It's a process that worked quite well for our client, BFI Burgenland, and their new, modernized tech stack.

Involve your key stakeholders

Next question: who's most likely to be affected by the change? It could be individuals, teams, or entire departments in your organization. And these key stakeholders need to understand the benefits of your new solution — like how they can save time and be more productive with an automated workflow.

Even with these perks, it's normal to experience resistance from your employees. So you can make the transition easier by involving them in every step of the rollout process. Which might look like the following:

  • Clarify how your new software solution enhances workflows and improves company processes — even if it means some disruptions at first. This makes your employees more likely to accept it — changes and all — and take ownership of their tasks.

  • Lead by example by sharing how and where you're seeing your solution's benefits in your own workflow — and how you're adapting to any changes. This inspires your employees to trust your direction.

  • Provide hands-on, tailored training opportunities for employees who will use this new software on a regular basis. So they can see its added value firsthand in their everyday tasks and responsibilities. We also recommend actively seeking your employees' feedback on whether your training resources are meeting their needs. This communicates that adapting to your new solution is a priority — and that they should treat it like one. Your employees will feel more supported in their ongoing development and are more likely to stay accountable to mastering your new software.

  • Address any issues your employees raise — whether that concerns change-related risks that might occur during implementation or if the new solution affects their job security. Welcoming and directly addressing their input means you'll encourage more responsiveness and transparency in your organization.

Your choice of business software directly impacts your employees' happiness and productivity. But it's how you involve them in the rollout process that inspires them to adapt to its changes and better trust your leadership.

Keep a pulse on the rollout mood

Once you're done implementing, check in regularly with your employees to see how they're getting on. You can create a supportive environment for them to share their experiences, bugs, and all. This can help you identify what's working and what isn't with your new software — and whether it makes sense to continue as is, optimize, or consider an alternative.

A good software change management process encourages employee input. A great one uses this input proactively to improve work processes continuously — both now and in the future.

3 key benefits of a software change management approach

A change management plan for software goes a long way when it comes to transforming your organizational culture. Here are a couple of practical benefits you'll see once you've set yours in place.

Reduced expenses

A well-structured change management plan cuts your expenses in the long run — big time. Here's how: when you've involved your employees during implementation, you have more insight into their workflows. You also know what risks and unintended consequences might pop up.

  • This means you now have the know-how to roll out software changes in a way that reduces downtime and doesn't majorly disrupt business processes.

  • It also means you can avoid risks and errors during implementation. For example, a scheduled rollout can reduce the risk of security breaches and data loss due to unplanned downtime.

In the long run, this both keeps your employees productive and protects you from the cost of unplanned downtime expenses. You also save yourself time, money, and effort from fixing errors and can better handle their impact on your business overall.

More control

Great change management means planning with your capacity in mind — i.e., your time, resources, and budget. This means you can implement your new software in a structured and controlled way, which might look like the following:

  • Working with a realistic timeframe for rollout, adoption, and completion of the change process — including time to market.

  • Regularly evaluating how disruptive your new software is in your organization's overall workflow.

  • Testing changes before deploying them.

  • Documenting changes so that your team can refer to them in the future.

With a step-by-step approach, you implement new changes more effectively and spend less time and effort managing them, which makes it easier for your organization to adapt.

An open, transparent feedback culture

We've covered how involving your employees during implementation can help them adapt to new software easier. But these benefits go beyond just your rollout phase and might look like the following:

  • Improved communication, especially once you've encouraged your team to give input and address their concerns directly. You end up creating a sense of trust, problem-solving, and collaboration at your organization — both now and for the long term.

  • A culture of continuous improvement because you incorporate your employees' feedback when improving processes. In the long run, this also helps you understand your new software's strengths and areas of growth.

By starting simple and involving your employees at every step, you set your new software up for success — no matter what kind of changes it brings. But when it comes to managing these changes more easily, you also want to ensure that your choice of software is the best fit for your business. Custom software can do that for you.

Why custom software can make for smooth change management

If you want to implement new software that fits your business like a glove and doesn't disrupt your processes — go for a custom software solution. You and your team will no longer be bending and twisting to adapt to off-the-shelf solutions.

Going custom benefits companies of all sizes and means easier change management for you in the long run. That's if you choose the right software development company in the first place. And if they're anything like us, they will take your entire team's needs into account from the very beginning.

The end result? A software solution that's a 100% fit for your business, adapts to your specific workflows, and creates minimal disruptions. So you cut your time and effort in managing software-related changes, keep your employees productive — and scale with ease.

Need a professional take on what solution might change your workflow the least? Book a free consultation with me, David, and let's get started.

Your opinion is very important to us!

On a score of 1 to 5, what's your overall experience of our blog?
1...Very unsatisfied - 5...Very Satisfied

More insights

5 steps you should consider before building software

Thinking about developing your own software? Here are 5 steps you should definitely consider before you start.

software development, digital buiness, discovery

Read full story

4 alternatives to Excel sheets for a smooth business workflow

Locked out of an Excel spreadsheet? Here are 4 alternatives to Excel to better suit your unique business needs & scale.

software development, digital buiness

Read full story

UX Case Study: Bulk Upload

A bulk upload function describes a product feature that allows the user to upload several different files at the same time and correctly process them.

software development, ux, ui

Read full story

UX vs. UI Design

Have you ever heard someone use the terms UX and UI in a discussion? These are not abbreviations for fantasy worlds or anything like that, UX and UI are among the most important components of product development.

software development, ux, ui

Read full story

The meaning of a thorough discovery phase to optimize software development

Planning software projects or new digital applications is challenging, and sometimes the initial plan does not work out. Often, the reason for failure is a missing or insufficient product discovery phase.

software development, discovery phase

Read full story

Best practices to increase the lifespan of your business software

Your choice of business software is a lifelong commitment — so how do you keep it running for the long term? Here's how.

software development, software maintenance

Read full story

See how custom business software has helped our clients succeed, no sales pitch involved. Just real-world examples. Guaranteed.

Schedule a demo