There are lots of reasons to move from on-premise software to a cloud solution. From upkeep and maintenance, to spendy upgrades, to lack of accessibility, many institutions of higher ed are looking for SaaS solutions to replace their standard systems.
Implementing a new software is never easy. It takes time, collaboration, and thoughtful change management skills to do it right. When implementing a new business continuity software, like Kuali Ready, here are a few key strategies to make sure the process goes smoothly and the software is fully adopted.
Talk, talk, talk. And then talk some more.
As with anything in life, communication is the most important piece in a successful implementation. Make sure to communicate with as many people as possible so those who want and need to be in the loop can participate in the implementation process.
You’ll want to be sure to communicate priorities, set expectations, timelines, and make sure any questions are answered clearly. Business continuity software is often a requirement to meet accreditation, so it’s especially important to be in the know about what is required. As the implementation moves forward, provide progress updates and other important information with those involved. Be transparent in what you’re doing, why you are doing it, and any roadblocks you are experiencing.
Do as I’m doing
Before launching the tool on campus, demoing and training is a big part of making sure your implementation is successful. Be sure to prepare a training plan earlier on in the implementation so you understand what resources you will need.
Will you need training from the vendor? Will you need to train department heads and other internal leaders on how to use the software?
While creating a training plan, also take into consideration any plans you might have in place, like an existing tabletop exercise or even a fire drill. How might you incorporate this new software into existing preparedness trainings?
Just because you’ve implemented the software and directors are working on filling out their plans, it doesn’t mean the work is done. It’s important to make sure you’re following up with everyone to see how they’re doing, what’s working and what’s not working, and how you can help.
Take the time to go on a “listening tour.” Allow people to tell you how it’s going, what’s working really well, what they aren’t able to do. It may be that what they aren’t able to do is actually possible through a different route.
Through your listening tour, you may learn that many individuals are having the same problem. You can work with your supervisor, or even the vendor, to create a plan to move forward and solve the issue.
Implementations are different at each institution, but by remembering to thoroughly communicate, focus on the people impacted by the changes, and continue to listen after you go live, you’ll be able to realize all the benefits of your new continuity system that made you purchase it in the first place.