User Adoption is key to any software product’s success. Internal teams and customers are more likely to adopt shiny, new software if they feel supported throughout the process.
Failure to establish these key User Adoption principles early on is common when it comes to new software installation. After all, change is never as easy as we’d like it to be! Not to mention, humans have this fun little tendency to procrastinate on the things that don’t bring immediate reward (or pain). Customer Success teams are quite literally designed to help organizations prepare a Change Management plan and avoid a lot of the headaches mentioned in this article.
In order to avoid common SaaS change management mistakes, it’s important to first understand what they are.
Mistake No. 1: Failing to clearly define your success and goals
Not clearly defining success and goals is one of the most common mistakes made in SaaS organization. This can be easily avoided by creating a clear, measurable vision of your success 1, 3, 5, 10+ years into the future. This will help ensure that everyone involved in the project is on the same page and knows what is expected of them.
Having a clear goal will also help keep the project on track and prevent it from becoming derailed by last-minute changes.
Think business success, not technical success.
Mistake No. 2: Failing to assign ownership and accountability at every level of the organization
Did you know that supervisors and managers are the biggest drivers of User Adoption? It’s true that Change Management in software development projects works best in a collaborative environment. However, it’s important to have dedicated team members who shoulder the responsibility for managing the installation of the new product, and its use down the road. These team members will be responsible for tracking all changes, and documenting and communicating goal progress to all stakeholders.
Once you cascade the ownership through your leaders, change will trickle throughout the organization, impacting day-to-day work practices.
Mistake No. 3: Focusing on getting to Go Live instead of what happens AFTER Go Live
Most Change Management disasters occur when organizations fail to identify and proactively manage change over the long term (long before the Go Live and well past the initial deployment). This is a great example of how NOT to have happy, supported teams and clients. Organizations might accidentally focus solely on getting to the Go Live stage for their new software.
While this is definitely an important milestone, it’s also crucial to have a plan in place for what happens AFTER the Go Live. This includes establishing procedures for ongoing maintenance and support to keep the ship afloat, if you will.
Mistake No. 4: Failing to conduct a gap analysis and develop effective UA strategy
A gap analysis is the key to developing an effective strategy, roadmap and adoption plan. By identifying the differences between your current state and your desired future state, you can develop a plan that will bridge the gap and help you achieve your goals. Identifying and solving this will make or break the process. User Adoption cannot be an afterthought.
Once you’ve conducted a gap analysis, you’ll need to develop a strategy for how you’re going to close the gap. This should include a roadmap that outlines the steps you’ll need to take to get from your current state to your desired future state. Usually, this complex step is led by a Change Management team.
In conclusion, User Adoption is key to any software product’s success. To get the most out of your IT investments, make sure that end users can incorporate new technology into their daily work practices and sustain proper use over time.
So, the goal here is to quickly and accurately decode the biggest SaaS Change Management Mistakes in the game and employ powerful tried-and-true strategies to avoid them. Eliminating these barriers is the first step to supporting the people who will be using your product.