Sustaining software change success after launch

Whilst introducing new digital tools adds value to your business—improving efficiencies, simplifying processes—purchasing new software is a significant financial investment so it’s something you absolutely need to get right.  

Software change can be a distraction for your employees, taking up their valuable time. It can be difficult to find the motivation to use new software, particularly if it doesn’t have a direct impact on their day job, HR tools as an example. This can mean employees are disengaged, not wanting to spend their time learning how to use new software; even though it will help them, and the business, in the long run.  

Factors such as this add an unquantifiable cost for businesses, on top of the actual investment in the software itself. If the change isn’t a success and adoption rates are lower than expected, then the return on investment can unravel.  

As we discussed in a previous blog post—creating an effective software implementation plan—software implementation should include ongoing improvements, communication, and training after roll out. One of the biggest mistakes businesses can make is seeing software change as a linear process that finishes on the launch date. The truth is that success must be sustained long into the future. You must continually monitor change; looking ahead and planning how your business may need to pivot to navigate any challenges, improvements or updates.  

So, let’s talk through the ways your business can make sure your software change project remains a success even after launch.  

Monitor software adoption 

Of course, you need to make sure that your team is actually using the new software. But it’s also useful to keep an eye on how they interact with the software day-to-day, and spot any issues they might be having.  

Analytics tools can be invaluable for this. The right system can give you powerful insights that can guide the optimization of software on an ongoing basis. Software like digital adoption platforms (DAPs) can give you deep insight into end-user experience and efficiency such as total time spent within a specific application and time spent on key tasks. DAPs let you gauge whether the new software is a help or hindrance to your employees, and where additional support might be needed to improve adoption rates.

Don’t forget to ask for regular feedback from your employees too, when it comes to monitoring adoption. Where face-to-face feedback sessions are difficult to schedule—let’s face it, getting more than two people in a room these days is near impossible—DAPs provide an excellent opportunity to not only support and guide users through software, but to capture feedback directly within an application. This means you can build a fuller picture of how your users are finding the software.  

Keep sponsors motivated 

Sponsors are responsible for getting the go-ahead for software change and ensuring it gets off the ground. But all too often, sponsors are quickly drawn to the next project on their list of priorities once the launch takes place. It’s often seen as ‘job done’. 

It’s really important that your sponsor is involved in post-launch improvements. As we’ve said, new software roll outs are not an open-and-shut challenge. The change is continuous, and sponsors should remain engaged in the project to ensure they’re aware of challenges that may arise. 

This is particularly beneficial because sponsors tend to hold the keys to resources. So, their involvement really is key to continued success. Your sponsor should be aware of post-launch objectives from the very beginning and keep them front on mind throughout all phases of the project.   

Software change management must be adaptable  

For software change to be a success, it must be adaptable. You need to be ready to make changes as and when the business needs them. Shiny new software is great, but what happens when there are significant UI updates for the software? Or if there are shifts in business vision and direction?  

This is where digital adoption software can help. As well as giving you insight into what needs to change, DAPs also give you the means to communicate and highlight these changes; whether that’s making sure users walk through new updates to the application or can access helpful resources. 

The importance of a customer success team 

When sustaining success in your change project, don’t underestimate the support your chosen vendor can provide on an ongoing basis. Customer success teams are a dedicated group of people that work to make your change successful in the long term. They focus on helping you leverage the software to solve new challenges.  

If your DAP has been successful in helping you roll out new software, then a customer success team can help you capitalize on this success. They’ll help you identify other inefficiencies in the business and ensure continued software optimization.   

In fact, before you even implement a new piece of software, make sure you find out exactly what kind of support your vendor provides. Try to get a clear idea of how this team works and the level of ongoing support they’ll provide.  

Take us at AppLearn, we have a customer success team that does exactly this. It means our clients are able to get the absolute best out of the software they use, with the help of our experts.

Customer success teams make sure your change can reach its goals, year after year, supporting across launch objectives, long-term success, and value delivery.   

To wrap up… 

Building a relationship with your vendor’s customer success team is one really important way to sustain the success of your software change. After all, your investment could be significant, so gaining a true ROI is critical. Customer success teams are there to help you achieve this.  

The most important thing to remember about sustaining change success is that change is never linear. It doesn’t have a defined endpoint. It’s continuous. Truly understanding this means monitoring adoption, keeping sponsors engaged, remaining flexible, and tracking success.  

And the best way to do this… you guessed it… is using a DAP. Want to learn more about our products and services? Head over to our product page.

Insight by

Katy Batley

Insight by

Katy Batley