Three Things To Do BEFORE Selecting a Software

Written By: Kyler Cheatham
Date: August 30, 2022

Selecting the right software for your organization is pivotal to maximizing the business value of your new systems and reducing the risk of failure, or expensive restoration project.

We call it "Phase-0" or the pre-work to software selection. Many organizations prematurely jump into a full-on selection without understanding exactly what the business needs or the overall readiness current culture. This can lead to a failed software project or, even worse, the culture never really adapting to change.

Here are three areas that we always recommend our clients focus on before they start their software selection:

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1. Define your business requirements

Before you even start looking at software, you need to take the time to define your business requirements.

What are the specific needs of your organization?

What processes do you need the software to support?

What are your performance goals?

Answering these questions will help you narrow down your options and choose the right software for your business.

Remember a digital transformation is NOT just an IT project, it’s an organizational journey that will impact all parts of the business. As such, you must involve stakeholders from across the organization in this process to get a complete understanding of the requirements.

The system requirements must align with the core goals and strategies of the full enterprise for the software to create real value.

2. Secure executive alignment and commitment

As with any business initiative, you need to ensure that there is executive alignment and commitment to the project.

The software selection process can be lengthy and expensive, so you must have the full support of your organization’s leadership team. This will help ensure that the project stays on track and that you have the resources you need to be successful.

To achieve ongoing alignment, an organization must first have the trust of the greater organizational community. Once that exists, it’s possible to develop a governance model with the right level of control and flexibility to make decisions that reflect the conditions of the moment while remaining true to the organization’s goals.

Surveys and readiness assessments will help the project and executive team understand the organization's trust in the leadership's ability to execute any new technology project of process implementation.

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3. Assess your organizational readiness

Selecting new software is a major undertaking, and it’s important to make sure that your organization is ready for the change.

You need to assess your current culture and readiness for change, as well as the skills and capabilities of your workforce. Do you have the right mix of people with the right skills to support a new system?

You also need to consider your organizational structure and how it will need to change to support the new software. Will you need to create new roles or redesign existing ones?

Keep in mind that a successful software implementation requires more than just the right technology. You also need the right people and processes in place to make it work.

Organizational readiness assessments help identify where the gaps are in an organization's ability to support change. This information is critical in making decisions about how to proceed with a software implementation.

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Phase-0 is an important part of the software selection process, but it’s often overlooked. By taking the time to focus on these three areas, you can increase your chances of success and ensure that you select the right software for your business.

When it comes to software, one size does NOT fit all. The right software for your business depends on several factors, including your industry, business model, and organizational culture.

Don't make the mistake of thinking that you can simply choose any software and it will work for your organization. It's important to take the time to understand your specific needs and choose software that will fit those needs.

If you're not sure where to start, our team of experts can help you assess your specific needs and identify the right software for your business. Feel free to reach out to me directly for an informal conversation.

I also highly recommend reviewing our newly release 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner more insights into software selection and implementation.

Kyler Cheatham
Kyler Cheatham is a digital artist and innovator who is always thinking of new ways to improve the world around her. As the Global Marketing Director at Third Stage Consulting, she uses her creativity and tech-savvyness to help businesses reach their target audiences. Kyler is also a thought leader in the digital marketing space, and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. She is also a mother of two young children, which has given her a unique perspective on balancing work and family life.
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