The Best Ways to Transition from Old Software to New Software

So, you’ve finally decided to take the leap and upgrade to new software. Honestly, it’s about time. Old software can gum up the works of your business, or even lead to loss of crucial data. But, just because you know something’s wrong, it can take a while to get to the point to make a change. As behaviorists and psychologists explain, loss aversion rules many of us. Loss aversion refers to the idea that the pain of losing something is actually stronger than the joy of getting something. Essentially, we cling to what’s familiar. After all, the unknown is a lot scarier than the known: it could always get worse, right? But that’s negativity for you. Good on you for realizing that good things can come to those who make changes.

But, now that you’ve decided to make a switch, it’s important to do it right. There’s a reason we fear the unknown, after all.

Research

Before anything else, spend time researching your options. You might think you’re wasting time, but nothing feels more like a time-suck than discovering your new software actually doesn’t do what you thought. Examine your options with a list of your needs, and compare the two until you find the best fit. Cost, features, and support will all be worth understanding before you sign on the dotted line.

Plan

Once you’ve chosen new software, make a plan for how to make the transition as seamless as possible. Ask questions about how long the transition will take, how to transfer data from old to new software, and if it would be best for employees to be out of the office during the switch. Understand how the new software can impact all aspects of your business is important, but people are important too. Does the new software impact your accounting department, for example? Should you plan the transition during a slower season, or do you need it ASAP?

Communicate

How many of us have experienced a well-organized roll-out, and a poorly planned one? The differences are staggering in how long it takes to get employees up to speed, and the learning curve can affect everyone differently. Make sure everyone affected understands what’s going on, and incorporate training as soon as possible to minimize lost time.

Have a Training Plan

Set aside more time than you think you’ll need to effectively train everyone on staff. If your team understands the new software and all the new features, they’ll be able to help customers get back to having fun. Don’t assume the team will have time to train each other. Make time and you’ll be able to avoid issues with various levels of knowledge. Gameify the training if possible to make the new knowledge stick.

Follow Up

Check in with the key stakeholders affected by the new software as soon as possible. Questions can come up immediately, or during special circumstances. If your new software is able to track more data, make sure your team knows how important it is not to cut corners. Give people the space to learn, and they’ll reward you with a smoothly-run business.

You know you’ve got it made when you can’t imagine waiting so long to upgrade your software. If you want to learn more about new software and the capabilities you’re missing out on, give us a call to schedule a demo today.